The Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015 (the bill) was
introduced into the Senate on 11 February 2015. On 12 February 2015, the
Selection of Bills Committee referred the bill to the Senate Rural and Regional
Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (the committee) for inquiry and
report by 13 May 2015. 
On 12 May 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 29
May 2015. An Interim Report was tabled on 29 May.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the Criminal Code Act 1995
insert new offences in relation to failure to report a visual
recording of malicious cruelty to domestic animals, and interference with the
conduct of lawful animal enterprises; and
make consequential amendments.
Conduct of the inquiry
Due to the timeframe and the very specific subject matter of the
inquiry, the committee agreed not to advertise the inquiry in the national
press. The committee did, however, write directly to a significant number of
stakeholder groups, seeking their comments on the provisions of the bill.
The committee received 1671 written submissions (see Appendix 1). A
large number of form letters were also received. A sample copy of each was
published on the committee's website.
The committee held a public hearing on Friday, 15 May 2015, in Canberra.
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing may be found at Appendix
The references to the Hansard transcript made in this report are to the
proof transcript and it is noted that page numbers may vary between the proof
and the official transcript. The Hansard transcript of the hearing is available
online at the committee's website.
Structure of the report
Chapter 2 of the report provides the background to bill, including the
key provisions of the bill.
Chapter 3 describes the key issues raised during this inquiry, including
the timeframe proposed by the bill in relation to the reporting of animal
cruelty, the surrendering of visual recordings of animal cruelty, the damage
caused by incursions on farms (including threats to biosecurity) and the imposition
of new criminal penalties for specific offences.
The committee notes that additional comments or reports in relation to
this inquiry may be tabled in the Senate at a future time. These may include
The committee acknowledges the contribution of all those individuals and
organisations who prepared written submissions and those who appeared as
witnesses. Their efforts have assisted the committee considerably in the
preparation of this report.
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