Shane Rattenbury has announced a brave new world of animal sales regulation:
Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today announced that a new enforceable code of practice for the sale of animals will begin in the ACT on 21 October 2013.
“This new Animals Sales Code is an important milestone in animal welfare reform in the ACT. It is the first ACT animal welfare code that is mandatory and enforceable. It will improve the welfare of animals that are sold in the ACT,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The Sales Code applies to anyone who sells animals including through pet shops, private backyards, markets, newspapers, and internet sales. It covers companion animals, produce animals such as backyard poultry, and live animals sold as food in restaurants and markets, such as fish.
“The Code will improve the conditions for animals in sales environments and help ensure that only appropriate sales are made by, for example:
— Requiring the seller to provide hygienic accommodation that meets the physical, behavioural and emotional needs of the animals (eg space that allows animals to move around freely, exercise and rest) and to provide adequate exercise to the animals (eg 30 min exercise per day for dogs);
— Requiring sellers to provide all buyers with written information about the care of the animal andfor commercial sellers to accept animals returned within three days of purchase;
— Requiring staff at commercial establishments to be experienced and knowledgeable in the care of the species of animals being sold;
— Restricting animal sales to buyers who are above the age of sixteen;
— Introducing record keeping requirements for anyone selling an animal for financial gain.
“The Sales Code is enforceable by RSPCA inspectors, Territory and Municipal Services Officers and Police. It can be enforced by a written warning, on the spot fines, or court imposed penalties of up to $14,000 for an individual.