The purpose of the State Support Plan - Animal Welfare is to provide the community of Western Australia, including emergency services and the animal management sector, with a document that integrates arrangements for animal welfare with the State’s formal management arrangements to ensure that animals are planned for and their welfare is appropriately addressed in any emergency.

In 2018, the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) formally assigned the role and responsibility for coordinating animal welfare in emergencies to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The state support plan clarifies the animal welfare in emergency roles and responsibilities between the various stakeholders involved in the delivery of emergency response and recovery activities:

  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)
  • Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA)
  • Department of Communities
  • Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs) and Controlling Agencies
  • local government authorities.

The plan acknowledges that the owner or person responsible for caring for an animal (the carer) is primarily responsible for the welfare of that animal.

In collaboration with the SEMC, relevant Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs) and controlling agencies and the Animals in Emergencies Working Group, the initial publication of this plan was released in 2019. Following the five yearly review cycle, DPIRD has reviewed and proposed amendments to the state support plan for broad stakeholder feedback.

Consultation will be open for 12 weeks from 21 May 2024 to 12 August 2024. Please submit your feedback by close of business on Monday 12 August 2024 using the survey below. We welcome other questions or comments you have in relation to this plan.

Summary of Amendments

The following amendments are proposed within the draft State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies:


  • Animal Welfare Response arrangements clarified as established by DPIRD with support of organisations in the Committee for Animal Welfare in Emergencies.
  • Key planning considerations to acknowledge the information and resources for persons evacuating with animals need to be provided in culturally and linguistically appropriate formats (sections 2.2 and 3.4.1).
  • Response clarification stating that where impacted animal treatments are implemented through the activation of the Plan, these will cease as soon as practicable after an emergency and the return of these animals to the owner/carer (section 3.4.2).
  • Inclusion of the recommendation of biosecurity considerations to be included in the management of evacuated animals (section 3.4.3).
  • Acknowledgment of the potential opportunity for tele-health for the assessment of non-evacuated animals (section 3.4.6).
  • Removal of reference to the Emergency Management Act 2005 provisions to appoint authorised officers during a State of Emergency to carry out euthanasia activities. The existing State Support Plan already provides specific arrangements for this animal welfare function that are supported by the Animal Welfare Act 2002.
  • Section 3.5 Funding Arrangements for Emergency Response updated in line with State EM Policy section 5.12 and clarification of DPIRD's responsibilities.
  • Removal of reference to the Register.Find.Reunite system in Glossary as not referenced in the plan.
  • Definition of a Hazard (under the Emergency Management Act) included within the Glossary.
  • Removal of Animal Welfare Emergency Group Terms of reference appendix as the functions have merged within the Terms of Reference of the Committee for Animal Welfare in Emergencies.

Clarification of roles and responsibilities

  • DPIRD and SEWEC roles and responsibilities clarified across preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Wording amended in Local Government responsibility (section 3.3.6) from activation of plans to liaise with DPIRD to ensure existing local and district emergency animal welfare plans or LEMA contingency arrangements are identified.
  • Addition of Preparedness and Recovery responsibilities added to Appendix C as a reference tool for all organisations listed within the plan.

Statement of fact amendments

  • Updates to contact details, agency names and position titles.
  • Updates to related legislation, regulation and other documents.
  • Animal welfare services terminology amended for consistency.
  • Removal of duplication with other State Emergency Management documents.
  • Other amendments to simplify language and improve readability.

Consequential amendments

The comprehensive review of the State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies has led to proposed amendments to the State Emergency Management Plan (State EM Plan) and a proposal to assign DPIRD as a supporting organisation within the Emergency Management Regulations 2006.

Proposed amendments to the State EM Plan include:

  • Reference to the State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies within the Animals subsection of State EM Plan section 4.6.1 Specific Arrangements.
  • A new State EM Plan section 5.3.4 summarising the State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies arrangements.
  • Inclusion of DPIRD as an Emergency Support Service for the coordination of animal welfare services in emergencies. DPIRD roles and Responsibilities from State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies included within Appendix E of the State EM Plan.
  • Inclusion of coordinating animal welfare services in emergencies as a a new function within Appendix F: Functional Responsibilities. The responsible agency listed as DPIRD.