Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 No 200
Part 2A Powers of officers
Division 1 Powers of officers generally
24A Officers may demand name and address
(1) An officer who finds a person:(a) who is committing an offence against this Act or the regulations, or(b) whom the officer suspects, on reasonable grounds, of having committed or attempted to commit such an offence, ormay require that person to inform the officer immediately of that person’s full name and home address.(c) who is in charge of a vehicle or vessel that the officer suspects, on reasonable grounds, to have been instrumental in the commission of an offence against this Act or the regulations,(2) A person must not fail to comply with a requirement made by an officer under subsection (1).Maximum penalty: 25 penalty units.(3) A person is not guilty of an offence under this section unless the officer:(a) warned the person that failure to comply with the requirement is an offence, and(b) identified himself or herself to the person as an officer.(4) An officer may request a person who is required to give information under subsection (1) to provide proof of that information.
24B Officer may require responsible person for vehicle to disclose identity of driver who commits offence
(1) If the driver of a motor vehicle is alleged to have committed an offence against this Act or the regulations in the course of driving the vehicle:(a) the responsible person for the vehicle, or the person having the custody of the vehicle, must, when required to do so by an officer, immediately give information (which must, if so required, be given in the form of a written statement signed by that person) as to the name and home address of the driver, and(b) any other person must, if required to do so by an officer, give any information that it is in the person’s power to give and that may lead to the identification of the driver.Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.(2) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1) (a) if the defendant proves to the satisfaction of the court that he or she did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the driver’s name and home address.(3) A written statement:(a) purporting to be given under subsection (1) (a) and to contain particulars of the name and home address of the driver of a motor vehicle at the time of commission of an alleged offence against this Act or the regulations, andis evidence without proof of signature that the person was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence if the person does not appear before the court.(b) produced in any court in proceedings against the person named in the statement as the driver for such an offence,(4) Expressions used in this section (other than officer), have the same meanings as in the Road Transport Act 2013.
24C Supplying officer’s details and giving warnings
(1) An officer is required, in relation to the exercise of a power conferred on the officer by this Part, to provide the person who is subject to the exercise of the power with the following:(a) evidence that the officer is an officer,(b) the name of the officer,(c) the reason for the exercise of the power,(d) a warning that failure or refusal to comply with a request of the officer, in the exercise of the power, may be an offence.(2) An officer is to take the action required by subsection (1) before or at the time of exercising the power concerned or, if to take the action at that time is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable after exercising the power.(3) If 2 or more officers are exercising a power to enter land, only one officer present is required to comply with this section.(4) However, if a person asks another officer present for information as to the name of the officer, the officer must give to the person the information requested.
24CA Extension of certain powers of officers
The powers of an officer or inspector under this Part may be exercised in relation to an offence, or suspected offence, against section 9 (1) of the Veterinary Practice Act 2003.
Division 2 Powers of inspectors
24D Interpretation and application of Division
(1) In this Division:inspector means an officer (other than a police officer) who is the holder of an authority issued under subsection (2) that is in force, or a police officer.land includes premises or a vehicle, vessel or aircraft.(2) The Minister, or the Secretary or a Deputy Secretary of the Department, may issue an officer with an authority for the purposes of this Division and may revoke any such authority.(3) An inspector may not exercise powers under this Division in relation to animal research carried out in accordance with the Animal Research Act 1985 on designated land within the meaning of that Act unless the inspector is also an inspector within the meaning of that Act.
24E Power to enter land
(1) An inspector may enter land for the purpose of exercising any function under this Division.(2) Despite subsection (1), an inspector may exercise a power under this Division to enter a dwelling only with the consent of the occupier of the dwelling, the authority of a search warrant or if the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that:(a) an animal has suffered significant physical injury, is in imminent danger of suffering significant physical injury or has a life threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary treatment, and(b) it is necessary to exercise the power to prevent further physical injury or to prevent significant physical injury to the animal or to ensure that it is provided with veterinary treatment.
24F Search warrant
(1) In this section:(2) An inspector may apply to an authorised officer for a search warrant if the inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that there is, in or on any land:(a) an animal in respect of which an offence against this Act or the regulations is being or has been committed or is about to be committed, or(b) evidence of an offence against this Act or the regulations that has been committed.(3) An authorised officer to whom an application is made under subsection (2) may, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so, issue a search warrant authorising an inspector named in the warrant, together with any person so named:(a) to enter and search the land, and(b) to exercise any functions of an inspector under this Division in or on the land.(4) Division 4 of Part 5 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 applies to a search warrant issued under this section.
24G Powers of inspectors in relation to land used for certain commercial purposes
(1) This section applies to the following land:(a) land used for the purpose of a sale-yard or an animal trade,(b) land in or on which an animal is being used, or kept for use, in connection with any other trade, or any business or profession (including a place used by a veterinary practitioner for the purpose of carrying on his or her profession).(2) For the purposes of ensuring that the provisions of this Act or the regulations are not being contravened, an inspector may, in relation to land to which this section applies, do any or all of the following:(a) inspect and examine the land, any animal that is in or on the land and any accommodation or shelter that is provided in or on the land for any animal,(a1) take such photographs, films, audio, video and other recordings as the inspector considers necessary,(b) inspect and examine any register that is kept under this Act or the regulations and that is in or on the land,(c) require any person found in or on the land to produce any such register,(d) take copies of, or extracts or notes from, any such register.(3) A person must not fail to comply with a requirement made by an inspector under subsection (2) (c).Maximum penalty (subsection (3)): 25 penalty units.
24H Powers of police officers to detain vehicle or vessel
(1) If a police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that a vehicle or vessel contains an animal in respect of which an offence against section 5, 6, 7 or 8 has been or is being committed and that the animal is in distress the police officer may:(a) stop the vehicle or vessel, and(b) enter the vehicle or vessel, and(c) enter any land for the purpose of entering the vehicle or vessel, and(d) examine the animal.(2) For the purpose of entering the vehicle or vessel or examining the animal concerned, the police officer may direct the person operating the vehicle or vessel to do any or all of the following:(a) to manoeuvre the vehicle or vessel in a specified manner or to a specified place (including a place that is appropriate for examining the animal concerned),(b) to park or secure the vehicle or vessel in a specified manner,(c) to remain in control of the vehicle or vessel while the police officer is exercising his or her functions.(3) A person must not fail to comply with a direction given to the person under this section.Maximum penalty: 25 penalty units.(4) A direction under this section to stop a vehicle or vessel must be made in a manner prescribed by the regulations by a police officer who is identified in a manner so prescribed.(5) For the purposes of subsection (1), an animal is in distress if it is suffering from exposure to the elements, debility, exhaustion or significant physical injury.
24I Powers of inspectors generally to examine animals
An inspector may examine an animal if the inspector suspects, on reasonable grounds, that:(a) an offence against this Act or the regulations is being, has been or is about to be committed in respect of the animal, or(b) the animal has not been provided with proper and sufficient food or drink during the previous 24 hours (or, in the case of the provision of food to an animal of a class prescribed by the regulations, during the period prescribed for that class of animal) and is still not being provided with that food or drink, or(c) the animal is so severely injured, so diseased or in such a physical condition that it is necessary that the animal be provided with veterinary treatment and the animal is not being provided with that treatment, or(d) the animal is so severely injured, so diseased or in such a physical condition that it is cruel to keep it alive, and the animal is not about to be destroyed, or is about to be destroyed in a manner that will inflict unnecessary pain on the animal.
24J Powers of inspectors in relation to care of animals
(1) If, after examining an animal in accordance with this Division, an inspector suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the animal is in distress (as referred to in section 24H (5)) or any of the circumstances referred to in section 24I exist in relation to the animal, the inspector may do any or all of the following:(a) take possession of the animal (or, if the animal is dead, the animal’s carcass),(b) if appropriate, remove the animal (or carcass) to such place as the inspector thinks fit,(c) retain possession of the animal (or carcass),(d) provide the animal with necessary food, drink or veterinary treatment,(e) destroy the animal in a manner that causes it to die quickly and without unnecessary pain.(2) An animal (or carcass) to which section 24I (a) applies may be retained by an inspector for a period not exceeding 60 days or where, within that 60-day period proceedings are commenced in respect of the offence concerned, until the proceedings are finally determined (unless the court otherwise directs).(3) Despite subsection (2), an animal retained under this section that is in distress or to which section 24I (b), (c) or (d) applies may be retained for such period of time as is sufficient for the animal to be provided with necessary food, drink or veterinary treatment, or to be destroyed in a manner that causes it to die quickly and without unnecessary pain, as the case requires.(4) The reasonable expenses incurred by:(a) an inspector who is a police officer or another person on behalf of the NSW Police Force, or(b) an inspector who is an officer of a charitable organisation or another person on behalf of the organisation, orin the exercise of the powers conferred by this section in respect of an animal, or in complying with the related duties imposed by this Act or the regulations, may be recovered from the owner of the animal as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction by the inspector or any other person acting on behalf of the NSW Police Force, a charitable organisation or the Crown.(c) an inspector who is a Public Service employee (within the meaning of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013) or another person on behalf of the Crown,
24K Power of seizure of evidence of offences
(1) An inspector who is lawfully on any land investigating a suspected commission of an offence against this Act or the regulations may seize any thing that will afford evidence of the commission of the offence.(2) An inspector who seizes a thing under this section must provide the occupier of the land with a receipt acknowledging the seizure of the thing if the occupier is present and it is reasonably practical to do so.(3) If an inspector seizes a thing under this section, it may be retained by the inspector until the completion of any proceedings (including proceedings on appeal) in which it may be tendered in evidence.(4) However, an inspector may retain seized documents under subsection (3) only if the person from whom the documents were seized is provided, within a reasonable time after the seizure, with a copy of the documents certified by an inspector to be a true copy.(5) Subsection (3) ceases to have effect in relation to any thing seized if, on the application of the person aggrieved by the seizure, the court in which the proceedings referred to in that subsection are instituted orders the inspector to return the thing seized.
24L Period for search limited
(1) An inspector who enters land under this Division must not remain on the land any longer than is reasonably necessary to achieve the purpose for which the land was entered.(2) A police officer who detains a vehicle or vessel under this Division must not detain the vehicle or vessel any longer than is reasonably necessary to achieve the purpose for which it is detained.
24M Inspectors may be assisted in exercising powers
An inspector may exercise a power conferred by this Division:(a) in a place other than residential premises—in the company and with the aid of such assistants as the inspector considers necessary, or(b) in residential premises—in the company and with the aid of such assistants, being persons of a class prescribed by the regulations, as the inspector considers necessary.
24N Notices in relation to animals
(1) If an inspector is satisfied on reasonable grounds that a person is contravening a provision of this Act or the regulations in relation to an animal, the inspector may give the person a notice in writing requiring the person to take such specified action in relation to the animal as the inspector considers necessary to avoid any further contravention.(2) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a notice is guilty of an offence.Maximum penalty: 25 penalty units.(3) A person cannot be convicted for both an offence against this section and another offence under this Act or the regulations in respect of the same act or omission.
24NA Power to question persons
(1) An inspector may require a person whom the inspector suspects on reasonable grounds to have knowledge of matters in respect of which information is reasonably required for the purposes of:(a) exercising the powers of an inspector under this Division, orto answer questions in relation to those matters.(b) determining whether there has been a contravention of this Act or the regulations,(2) A person must not, without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to comply with a requirement made of the person under this section.Maximum penalty: 25 penalty units.(3) A person must not furnish any information or do any other thing in purported compliance with a requirement made under this section knowing that it is false or misleading in a material respect.Maximum penalty: 25 penalty units.