Triple penalty for animal cruelty

THE maximum penalty for people who deliberately and unlawfully inflict severe pain or suffering on animals will more than triple in most cases under tough new proposed laws approved by State Cabinet today.

A new offence of serious animal cruelty, with a maximum penalty of seven years’ jail, will apply to anyone who inflicts severe pain or suffering on an animal where that is the deliberate intent.

Premier Anna Bligh said recent cases of appalling animal cruelty had rightly provoked community outrage and highlighted the need for stiffer penalties.

Ms Bligh said the crackdown had been prompted by a series of attacks on wild, domestic and farm animals, such as Frodo – an orphaned koala joey that was shot, Sticky – a puppy whose eyes were glued shut, and the north Queensland mare beaten so badly that she had to be put down.

“Most cases are currently prosecuted under the Animal Care and Protection Act, which provides a maximum penalty of $100,000 or two years’ imprisonment, she said.

“The new provision will be inserted into the Criminal Code with a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment to better reflect the gravity of serious animal cruelty offences.

“A civilised society has an obligation to protect animals from those who take pleasure in inflicting pain on domestic pets, commercial livestock and native fauna."

The proposed amendments are expected to be introduced to Parliament by July.


 



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