Improving access for assistance dogs

Labor will make it easier for people with a range of disabilities and impairments to have assistance dogs.

Currently under Tasmanian law only guide dogs for the visually and hearing impaired have public access rights to enter public buildings, transport, businesses and accommodation.

However, there are a range of disabilities and impairments where assistance dogs have been proven to provide therapeutic benefit.

Unlike other states, there is no scheme in Tasmania to allow assistance dogs to be trained and accredited to access public places.

Labor will review the legal framework and introduce an appropriate training program to allow for the introduction of assistance dogs in Tasmania.

In order to be eligible for an assistance dog, a person will be required to provide a letter from both a General Practitioner and a treating Specialist stating both the illness and details of the disability and whether or not a dog would assist with activities of daily living.

Dogs must be assessed for their temperament and capabilities by an accredited training provider.