Law to get tough on animal cruelty

PEOPLE on the Fraser Coast will face tougher penalties for animal cruelty offences under new laws being introduced to State Parliament this week.

The law change comes less than a fortnight after the RSPCA released statistics that show animal cruelty complaints in Hervey Bay and Maryborough rose by about 15% in the past year.

The changes include banning people awaiting trial and offenders from owning an animal of the same type.

Serious animal cruelty will also be made a new offence under the Criminal Code.

People convicted of the offence could make a maximum jail term of seven years.

The changes are a response to RSPCA concerns about people being investigated for animal cruelty who were still able to own animals.

Summary of new laws:

  • Amending the Criminal Code to include an offence of serious animal cruelty carrying 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 with courts having the power to impose longer bans;
  • Amending the Animal Care and Protection Act to allow courts to impose an interim ban on people owning an animal during legal proceedings or after legal proceedings;
  • Amending the Animal Care and Protection Act to increase the maximum jail sentence to three years and increase the maximum fine to $200.

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