Important parts of the Animal Care and Protection Act for veterinarians

Some parts of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 outline specific requirements for veterinarians. These are summarised below. For full details, refer to the Act.

Prohibitions on poisons

Only a person who is authorised under the Health Act 1937 can administer a harmful or poisonous substance with the intention of injuring or killing an animal, provided it is killed humanely. (Exemptions exist for feral and pest animal control.)

Requirement for veterinary treatment

An inspector can require a person to seek veterinary treatment for an animal through an animal welfare direction. The direction may require the person to obtain and produce a certificate or other document from the veterinarian as evidence that they have complied with the direction. The person is responsible for paying any fees to the veterinarian.

Power to require information

An inspector can require information (including documents) from a veterinarian about the treatment of an animal if an inspector reasonably suspects that the Animal Care and Protection Act has been contravened or an animal welfare direction has been given. (Giving this information to an inspector does not breach privacy legislation.)

Animal ethics committees must have a veterinarian

People who use animals for scientific purposes must have an animal ethics committee approve this use. The committee must have a member who is a veterinarian. The veterinarian's role, besides contributing to the process, is to provide expert advice on the impact of the work on the animal and ways to minimise and monitor this impact.

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