Each state and territory government is responsible for its own animal welfare legislation. The Australian Government has no legislative responsibility for this issue but has played a leadership role by coordinating the development and implementation of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.
The strategy sets broad national goals on animal welfare. It also provides a framework for sustainable, scientifically–based improvements in animal welfare. Nationally–endorsed animal welfare standards and guidelines for different animal species have been identified a key mechanism under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy to improve consistency of animal welfare requirements across the country.
A working group on companion animals has been established under the strategy. Membership of the companion animals working group includes representatives of the Australian Companion Animal Council, the Pet Industry Association of Australia, the Australian Veterinary Association, RSPCA and state governments.
The companion animals working group has identified the development of national standards and guidelines for dogs and cats as a priority task, and has formed a small project team to begin work on the issue.
The standards and guidelines for dogs and cats are being written to give pet owners clear information about their responsibilities with regard to the health and well being of their pets.
For more information, please read the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.