Greens animal welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC has today joined with the RSPCA and Sea Shepherd to announce plans to launch a new protection Bill for exhibited animals. Plans for the Bill come in the wake of an announcement that a new nightclub – Atlantis Lounge on Waymouth Street - will feature an aquarium including hammerhead sharks.
“While entrepreneurship should always be encouraged, this should not come at the expense of animal welfare,” Greens MLC Tammy Franks said.
“There is no doubt that community attitudes towards animals being used for entertainment where that entertainment could lead to injury, suffering or distress has shifted.
“That’s why today the Greens announce plans to introduce mandatory standards for exhibited animals to ensure that they are properly protected under South Australian law.
“Currently, there are no mandatory standards for exhibited animals in South Australia. Sharks, in particular, are not covered by our current state animal welfare legislation, meaning they effectively have no legal protections whatsoever.”
Ms Franks said the Bill would be based on New South Wales’ Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986.
“The legislation will cover exhibited animals and it will be the same as what’s existed in New South Wales for decades now, so it will apply to circuses, it will apply to zoos and it will apply to bars that want to put sharks in a tank,” she said.
“It will mean that they will have to qualify through a permit system, that the Minister will have to give approval and that we will have some regulations and protections against stupidity.”
The licensing scheme will set standards for:
- Housing, fencing, caging and exercise facilities for animals;
- Hygiene for the keeping and housing of animals;
- Nutrition, general care and husbandry of animals;
- Records to be kept in relation to the breeding, health, welfare, movement, acquisition, death and disposal of animals, including a requirement that a stock and mortality register be kept;
- Destruction of animals and disposal of carcasses;
- Educational and scientific requirements for animal exhibits; and
- Transport and public safety.