RSPCA NSW welcomes today’s announcement of the push for tougher penalties foranimal cruelty offences in New South Wales.

NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said he will introduce into StateParliament notice for legislation in what would be the harshest penalties foranimal cruelty in Australia.

The new set of measures will increase maximum financial penalties and prisontime under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act , as well as introducenew powers to ban an individual from ever being allowed to own, care for orbreed an animal in New South Wales.

“We are absolutely supportive of these proposed changes,” said RSPCA NSW CEOSteve Coleman.

“We hear from our members and supporters far too often that they considersentences for cruelty offenders to be inadequate, and this is a big steptowards addressing those concerns.

“For animal cruelty offenders, the message is that courts will be empowered todeal with them appropriately, in line with community expectation.

“For us, the introduction of lifetime bans will help address repeat offenders,which sadly is one of the biggest issues we encounter, and the increasedpenalties will make people think twice before committing the offences.

“These changes represent an important development in the conversation aboutanimal cruelty.

“It is clear how seriously and how strongly the community feels about thisissue and we hope that parliamentarians get behind this.

“Most importantly, we welcome these changes because they will help protectmore animals from suffering.”

The announcement follows the establishment of RSPCA NSW’s Breeder ComplianceUnit last month, a part of the Inspectorate tasked with investigatinginadequate conditions and standards at intensive dog breeding facilities andwill see non-compliant breeders made doubly accountable for their actions.

RSPCA NSW welcomes these changes as first steps into the review of thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is looking forward to furtherdevelopments in cruelty legislation in New South Wales.

The proposed penalty increases are:

  • For committing an act of cruelty: fine increased from $5,500 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment to $44,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for individuals, and $220,000 for corporations.
  • For committing an act of aggravated cruelty: fine increased from $22,000 to $110,000 and/or 2 years’ imprisonment for individuals, and $550,000 for corporations.
  • For failing to provide proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter: fine increased from $5,500 to $16,5000 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment for individuals, and $82,500 for corporations.

Image: Bigstock

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