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LAW122 Legal Systems

tag 0 Download 9 Pages / 2,008 Words tag 12-07-2021


A) An excerpt from the Statute

Small Birds Act 

No 68 of 2016 

An Act to provide for the welfare of animals, and to prevent cruel behaviour against small birds, and related purposes. 

[Assented to 24 December 2016] 

The Parliament of Tasmania enacts as follows:

1. Short Title 

This Act may be cited as the Small Birds Act (2016)

 2. Commencement 

This Act comes into operation on the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

3. Interpretation 

In this Act, unless otherwise provided 

“bird” is an animal covered with feathers.

“cruel” means to inflict pain or death.

“suffering” includes distress.

4. Objects of the Act

The objects of this Act are:  

(a)  to prevent the unnecessary suffering of animals; and

(b)  to promote community awareness about the welfare of small birds.

5. Maiming, Injuring or Killing of Small Birds 

Any man maiming, injuring or killing a small bird is guilty of an offence and subject to a fine not in excess of $500.

B) The Second Reading Speech

Second Reading Speech for the Small Birds Act (Tas). 

Mr. Speaker,

Animal Welfare is an important issue and it is essential that the legislation enforcing it is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to meet contemporary standards. We are a civilized society and we will not tolerate cruelty to animals. 

The Tasmanian media and officers within my Department have advised me of recent trends amongst a small group in society to use sling shots, missiles and other weapons in order to kill small birds which are in nature. 

This Act aims to address such anti-social and cruel behaviour.

I ask the House to address the Bill as presented, bearing in mind the urgency of the matter. However, the House should be assured that a wider review and discussion on animal welfare will take place which will most likely lead to further amendments being brought to this House at a later date.  

C) The Facts of Your Problem

On 2 January 2017, Rianna Barnergu was riding her pony on the Hobart Domain. Concerned that a saddle was a degrading and painful device for her pony, Rianna substituted a down pillow in lieu of the saddle. On this particular day, Rianna’s pony broke its right foreleg, and concerned for the suffering of her animal, Rianna acted in accordance with the customary law of her people and shot the pony to relieve it of its pain.

Rianna was subsequently charged with having breached S. 5 of the Small Birds Act.

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