Animal cruelty crackdown

IT IS one of the most callous forms of cruelty.

Animal cruelty has become the hot topic of the week as new laws are introduced to Parliament, ensuring harsher penalties are handed down to offenders.

State Government's introduced amendments will create a new offence of serious animal cruelty under the provisions of the Criminal Code.

It will apply to anyone who deliberately and unlawfully inflicts severe pain or suffering on an animal.

Convicted offenders will be automatically banned from owning animals of the same type for a minimum of two years and face the prospect of a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.

Longer bans could be imposed under the discretion of the court.

These will be separate to bans that will be able to be imposed under amendments to the Animal Care and Protection Act.

Amendments to the act will grant court new powers, including the authority to stop people awaiting trial for cruelty offences from owning animals, and building tougher penalties for animal cruelty by increasing the maximum jail sentence to three years and maximum fine to $200,000.

Attorney General Paul Lucas said the RSPCA had raised concerns about people who are being investigated for animal cruelty owning animals and the Government had moved to address the concerns.

Mr Lucas said owning an animal is not a right.

"It is a privilege that comes with responsibilities and an obligation to look after the animal's welfare," Mr Lucas said.

"There are thousands of animals right across Queensland which are under the care of responsible people but the sad fact is that in some cases, animals are mistreated, neglected, deliberately abused or worse."

 

 

Tough Stance

The following is a summary of the new laws under the Amending of the Criminal Code and Animal Care and Protection Act:

An offence of serious animal cruelty to carry a maximum sentence of seven years.

Anyone convicted of serious animal cruelty will be automatically banned from owning an animal of the same type for two years.

Imposing an interim ban on people owning an animal during or after legal proceedings.

Increasing maximum jail sentence to three years and maximum fine to $200,000.


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