Disability Assistance Animals or Not? Problems in Policy and Practice Workshop

30 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2016

See all articles by Paul Harpur

Paul Harpur

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Martie‐Louise Verreynne

University of Queensland

Simon Bronitt

Independent

Nancy Pachana

Independent

Peter Billings

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Brent Ritchie

University of Queensland

Date Written: September 26, 2016

Abstract

The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) defines assistance animals to include dogs or other animals that are trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability and to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place. The Federal Court of Australia Full Court has read this definition widely to include a selftrained dog that has not been accredited or trained by a recognised specialist disability animal training association. Considering an estimated four million Australians could claim to have a disability under the wide definition of disability in the DDA, and the extremely low bar to establish that an animal provides assistance to a person with a disability, the impact of these laws are significant and are generating substantial concerns to government, industry and the disability community.

The current regulatory approach to defining disability assistance animals has resulted in questions that law, policy and theory are struggling to answer, such as:

• How should animals, whether they are dogs, cats, miniature horses, birds, or others, have their suitability as assistance animals Determined and regulated?

• Who should be qualified to train and accredit disability assistance animals?

• Should there be legal limitations on what impairment categories or which individuals can use disability assistance animals?

• How can policies and regulations prevent pets being “passed off” as disability assistance animals?

Suggested Citation

Harpur, Paul David and Verreynne, Martie‐Louise and Bronitt, Simon and Pachana, Nancy and Billings, Peter and Ritchie, Brent, Disability Assistance Animals or Not? Problems in Policy and Practice Workshop (September 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2856824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2856824

Paul David Harpur (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Martie‐Louise Verreynne

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Simon Bronitt

Independent

No Address Available

Nancy Pachana

Independent

No Address Available

Peter Billings

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
Brisbane, 4072
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.uq.edu.au/profile/1278/peter-billings

Brent Ritchie

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
94
Abstract Views
916
rank
274,280
PlumX Metrics