Animal Welfare Act 2002 —Fish

Extract from Hansard [COUNCIL —Tuesday, 14 August 2012] p4871a-4871a Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Norman Moore
Animal Welfare Act 2002 —Fish
5756. Hon Lynn MacLaren to the Minister for Fisheries
Given that a fish is not defined as an animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 —
(1) Will the Minister please identify what statutory protection exists to regulate the welfare of fish?
(2) What measures does the Department of Fisheries plan to take in the 2012–2013 financial year to promote the welfare of fish, and how much has been budgeted in respect of these measures?
(3) Has the Minister considered defining a fish as an animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 to correct this deficiency in the Act?
Hon NORMAN MOORE replied:
(1) Section 258(1)(va) and (vb) of the Fish Resources Management Act 1994.
(2) The Department of Fisheries will be leading a project to develop a national set of guidelines relating to the humane treatment of aquatic animals for restaurant owners. This work, which is being co- sponsored by the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, will involve a stock-take of existing information available to restaurant owners, consideration of the key species kept in restaurant aquaria and an examination of major issues involved in the industry, including the supply chains and identifying any cultural issues that may prevail. It is expected that this project will lead to an improvement in the understanding of species-specific welfare requirements and greater consistency across all States and Territories in regard to the treatment of aquatic animals. The Department of Fisheries has budgeted $17,600 to contribute to the project.
(3) I am advised that this matter was given extensive consideration at the time the Animal Welfare Bill was being drafted, and the decision was taken not to include fish welfare under the Animal Welfare Act. I support that decision.