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Animal Welfare Inspectors To Be Given "Greater Power Than The Police"

by | March 5, 2020

New government legislation in Western Australia could see animal welfare inspectors given greater powers to regulate farms.

Under the proposed bill, the inspectors would be able to enter farms without a warrant or consent from the owner.

The new bill would also strengthen laws against animal rights activists, and could mean up to two years in jail or a $24,000 fine for those who trespass onto farms and abattoirs.

“Greater Power Than The Police”

Although farmers have praised the protections from animal rights activists — who sometimes enter farms unlawfully to gather evidence of mistreatment — they have voiced anger at the new powers to be granted to inspectors.

“These people have a right of entry at any time and without a warrant,” said Tony Seabrook, president of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA), an agricultural lobby group.

“That is a greater power than the police have and they are nowhere near as qualified as police might be.”

animal welfare inspection pigs
Animal welfare inspectors will be able to enter farms without permission (Mark Agnor/Shutterstock.com)

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Animal Welfare Laws

The proposed legislation was first introduced after an increase in animal rights activists entering farms to highlight welfare issues.

“Treated Humanely”

“The public has got a really red hot interest in making sure these animals in these confinements are treated humanely,” explained Attorney-General John Quigley, of why the changes will protect animals as well as farmers.

“Most Western Australians would consider themselves animal lovers and do not want to see animals being mistreated.”

What do you think of the proposed legislation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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