Am I allowed to leave my home to care for animals during COVID-19?

It is your responsibility to always protect the welfare of animals in your care.
In New South Wales, if you are well and able you can leave your home to care for animals during COVID-19. If you are subject to travel restrictions or stay-at-home orders, you must continue the care of your animals as required. Ensuring you always adhere to requirements of the order such as wearing a mask, social distancing, good hygiene and other safety measures implemented by the NSW Government. In some circumstances people are responsible for animals that are not located at their residential address. These people may agist their animals or have hobby farms, and must provide care to these animals. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTAA) it is an offence to abandon an animal.

It is your legal obligation to ensure animals in your care are provided with proper and sufficient food, water, shelter and veterinary treatment when necessary. You are also able to leave your home to purchase essential supplies or services including those for your animals such as food and veterinary treatment. If a person is directed to self-isolate, you must make alternative arrangements for the care of animals who are not at your primary residence.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries have stated that you can leave your primary residential address when restrictions are in place to provide care to animals and undertake exercise. This includes, checking on animals at your hobby farm and walking your dog.

For more information, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/home/covid-19

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