Community Law Reform Assistance Animals Final Report 16



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Community Law Reform

Assistance Animals

Final Report 16

Victorian Law Reform Commission
GPO Box 4637

Melbourne Victoria 3001 Australia
Level 10, 10–16 Queen St

Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia
Telephone +61 3 8619 8619

Facsimilie +61 3 8619 8600

TTY 1300 666 557

1300 666 555 (within Victoria)

law.reform@lawreform.vic.gov.au

www.lawreform.vic.gov.au
Published by the Victorian Law Reform Commission
The Victorian Law Reform Commission was established under the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 as a central agency for developing law reform in Victoria.
This report reflects the law as at 25 August 2008.
Copyright September 2008 Victorian Law Reform Commission. This work is protected by the laws of copyright. Except for any uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) or equivalent overseas legislation, no part of this work may be reproduced, in any manner or in any medium, without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
The publications of the Victorian Law Reform Commission follow the Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, Australian Guide to Legal Citations (2nd ed, 2002).
Image on cover and throughout provided by Guide Dogs Victoria
ISBN 978-0-9758466-4-3 (pbk)
Ordered to be printed

Victorian Government Printer

No. 142 Session 2006-08
This publication can be provided in further accessible formats by contacting the commission.

Font: Arial 18 pt
Transcription notes:

● The figures in the right margin preceded by leader dots indicate the original page numbers. e.g.

1

indicates the start of page 1

Contents

Abbreviations 5

Preface 6

Contributors 9

Executive summary 11

The Commission's Model 12

Recommendations 15

Chapter 1
Background 22

Introduction 22

Origins Of The Report 23

Victorian Context 24

Our Process 26

Structure Of Report 29

Terminology 30

Chapter 2


Assistance Animals in Victoria 34

Current Practice 34

Who Uses Assistance Animals? 40

What Benefits Do Assistance Animals Bring? 41

Who Trains Assistance Animals? 46

Assistance Animal Organisations That Provide Services To Victorians 49

Seeing Eye Dogs Australia 50

Will Assistance Animals Become More Common? 55

Summary 56

Chapter 3


Current Law 64

Current Law 64

State Legislation 64

Commonwealth Legislation 74

Federal Case Law On Assistance Animals 78

Current Problems 82

Extent Of Discrimination 83

Conclusions 87

Chapter 4
Changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 96

Changes To The Equal Opportunity Act 96

Principles Of Reform 96

Clarifying The Meaning Of "Assistance Animal" In Victorian Law 98

Removing Inequities In Protection 109

Enabling The Right 110

Consistent And Comprehensive Protection 129

Chapter 5


Establishing a Training and Accreditation Scheme 138

Current practice 138

Consultation Proposals 139

Responsibility for regulating assistance animals 140

Conclusions 147

Should there be an advisory committee? 149

Accrediting Trainers 151

Who Should Be Eligible For Accreditation? 152

Accreditation Standards For Trainers 158

Public Access Test 163

Chapter 6
Registration and Identification 178

Registration And Identification 178

Registration Of Assistance Animals 179

Identification 184

Chapter 7
Other Issues 195

Transitional arrangements 195

Civil liability 196

Community Education 199

National consistency 203

Appendix 1 207

Submissions 207

Appendix 2 209

Consultation Meetings 209

Appendix 3 210

Other jurisdictions 210

Appendix 4 225

Glossary 227

Bibliography 230



4

Abbreviations


ADA Assistance Dogs Australia
ADI Assistance Dogs International
AWARE Assisting Wellbeing Ability Recovery and Empowerment Dogs Australia
DDA Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
DFNAA Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994 (Vic)
EOA Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic)
GDV Guide Dogs Victoria
HREOC Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (now re-branded as the Australian Human Rights Commission)
IGDF International Guide Dogs Association
SED Seeing Eye Dogs Australia
VEOHRC Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
VLRC Victorian Law Reform Commission

5

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