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I'm not sure whether I support this. I guess it all depends on how the laws would be used.

On one hand, it could be useful for confiscating dogs from owners who leave them permanently chained up.

On the other hand, it'll more likely be used to ban rodeos, or mousetraps.
 

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The idea sounds like it's rooted in being humane and recognizing that animals DO have feelings......but I can also see how if legislators aren't very very careful about the wording....it could affect animals raised for meat/milk---chickens raised for meat/eggs....fishing....controlling pests around the house....heck even killing a poisonous snake or insect......IMO sometimes laws aren't thought out and written like they should be....down the road they backfire.
 
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you know that old saying, "the slippery slope". Australia is already a mixed bag of some places allowing some training devices and some not. If a law is passed that considers how a pet "feels" the dog training community NEEDS to band together to make sure the folks who know nothing are the ones making the decisions. A "pet parent" and a hard core sport trainer will have very different ideas of an animals emotional health.
 

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This is bound to go poorly.

1.) Who determines what animal mental well-being is?
2.) How is this defined? Especially across species.
3.) Science has barely figured out that rats are ticklish and plants feel pain. How on earth do they know what an animal is thinking or feeling at any time in an objective manner?

Answers:

1.) Bureaucrats who don't own animals, don't know what animals are like, or operate purely off of decisions that make them feel good rather than do good.
2.) As loosely as possible, and never more than that.
3.) They don't and won't until animals can magically speak and become human.

This is the same issue with trying to make animal owners "pet parents" or "guardians". Legally, that makes your animal a ward of the State. The State then gets to decide what's best for the animal, not you. Your animal is no longer protected by the far more useful and freedom-preserving "special property" laws and can thus be confiscated at any time for any reason the State deems admissible.

I leave you with a quote:

“Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about," said the voice of Maurice. "They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
 
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