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Extract from ACT Government media release:

New laws to promote respect and care for animals in the ACT

Released 13/12/2018

The ACT Government is proposing a range of new animal welfare measures to help keep Canberra's animals safe and appropriately cared for.

...Minister for City Services Chris Steel said.


Minister Steel said that another aspect of the Bill was the establishment of a legislative framework for assistance animals, supporting registration and training for assistance animals and ensuring right of access for people with assistance animals.

"Assistance animals provide support for many Canberrans to participate and be included in our community. We want to provide certainty for people with an assistance animal that they can access any public premises with their assistance dog," Minister Steel said.

"Our proposed laws will send a clear message, if you deny a person with an assistance animal access to public premises' you could be fined $4000 for an individual or $20,250 for a corporation."

Public premises' include public passenger vehicles like public transport, taxis and rideshare, restaurants, shopping centres and businesses, including professional, trade and commercial premises'.

Key features of the new Bill are:

  • a new specific offence for leaving an animal unattended in a car with fines up to $3200, and allow a person to break into a car to save an animal where there are reasonable grounds to do so.
  • ...
  • an accreditation system for assistance animals and ensuring the rights of access for people with a disability who rely on an assistance animal.
Consultation on the draft Animal Welfare legislation is open through www.yoursay.act.gov.au until 7 February 2019.
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