Under the Animal Welfare Act, the minister responsible for animal welfare appoints the Animal Welfare Authority.
The authority exercises the powers and functions conferred on it under the Act. Some of the powers include appointing animal welfare inspectors and officers and considering applications for a licence to use premises for teaching or research involving animals.
A senior executive of the department is appointed to be the Animal Welfare Authority, in accordance with section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act.
The department's Animal Welfare Branch provides administrative support to the Authority.