- Federal Act on the Protection of Animals: Bundesgesetz über den Schutz der Tiere (Tierschutzgesetz – TSchG)
- New legislation on shelters: (1.01.2015) https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20003822
Publication related to the legislation
Ministry responsible of animal welfare issues
Ministry of Health and Ministry for Agriculture
Animal Welfare at the governmental level
The following three animal welfare bodies:
1) Tierschutzkommission (Animal Protection Comittee) §41a TschG
Structure: members include one representative per political group represented in the National Council, and four experts, appointed by the Federal Minister for Health.
Function: consultancy on current and planned Animal Welfare legislation to the Ministry of Health, to develop a working plan, to write a animal welfare Report. The Commission has to submit a report to National Councils every two years. The Commission has the right to mandate the Animal Welfare Council (§42 TschG) for position papers and statements. The Commission can give recommendations for focusing animal welfare issues to the Ministry of Health.
2) Tierschutz Vollzugsbeirat (Enforcement Council) §42a TschG:
Structure: One representative of the competent authorities on the Federal level (Ministries of Health, of Agriculture, of Environment), One representative of competent authorities of the States, The respective State Ombudspersons of the State where the meeting takes place as spokespersonn for all State ombudspersons.
Function: To guaranty coherent enforcement of Federal Animal Welfare related legislation, by developing guidelines for the enforcement on the State level and developing guidelines specifically for enforcement of live animal transport.
Structure: The Animal Welfare is composed of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, the respective ombudsmen of the States, a representative of the laboratory chamber and the Austrian veterinary chamber, representatives of Universities (veterinary and agriculture), Zoologie and research, a representative of the Zoo-organisation, representatives of the umbrella organisation of animal welfare and representatives of the organisation Eurogroup for Animals.
Function: Consultancy to the Ministry of Health, to write diverse position papers (science based, considering the EU and International approach), to write an annual report. In general, the Animal Welfare Council monitors, evaluates and develops the animal welfare policy and law in Austria. The Council can recommand programms to focus on. State bodies are obliged to give to the animal welfare council the requested information.
Structural element in the Parliament on animal welfare issues
Animal Welfare Ombusdman/ Commissioner
One per country. He must be a veterinarian or a biologist.
Function: represent the interests of animal welfare and is –theoretically – independent in performing his duties she has got the right to appeal against decisions of the competent authority within the scope of the AWA. Besides advising the minister responsible, the Animal Welfare is also meant to provide a basis for uniform enforcement of animal welfare laws, to evaluate the implementation of animal welfare legislation and participate in the development of the law. Since the execution in the field of animal welfare remains the responsibility of states, comes to the policies and opinions of the Animal Welfare Council on questions of interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act and the regulations issued on the basis thereof special meaning for uniform enforcement. Another responsibility of the Animal Welfare Council is to draw up of decision criteria based on scientific and practical knowledge, and to provide scientific opinions and recommendations. With due regard to European legal standards, economic conditions and possibilities of practical implementation on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health.