NSW is set to unleash tough penalties for animal cruelty as Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall MP will introduce new laws which will see an act of aggravated animal cruelty attract a $110,000 fine (up from $22,000), and the possibility of two years imprisonment. The new laws will also see pet owners who fail to provide the basics like food and shelter be faced with a $16,500 fine (up from $5,000), and the possibility of six months imprisonment.
Mr Marshall will introduce notice for legislation this week into State Parliament to increases a massive eight-fold current penalties under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA). Mr Marshall said it was the next step on his crusade against those who neglect, harm or interfere with animals, especially illegal puppy factory operators.
Animal Welfare League NSW CEO Mark Slater said ” We welcome the proposed new changes from the Minister and look forward to working into the future with the new laws to ensure the best possible welfare outcomes for all animals.”.
Animal Welfare League NSW is one of the only three regulating bodies authorised to exercise powers under the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Our Inspectors are authorised to seize and prosecute cases of animal cruelty and neglect, and our team are on the road every day protecting animals, educating owners, providing emergency rescue and investigating allegations of animal cruelty.
“The changes to these laws will help to support our Inspectorate in ensuring cruelty offenders will be dealt with seriously in court.”.
The proposed increases would introduce the following penalties:
- Cruelty – increased from $5,500 fine (current) to $44,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for individuals and $220,000 for corporations for each individual act of cruelty;
- Aggravated Cruelty – increased from $22,000 fine (current) to $110,000 and/or 2 years’ imprisonment for individuals and $550,000 for corporations for each individual act;
- Fail to Provide Food & Shelter – Increased from $5,500 fine (current) to $16,500 and/or six months’ imprisonment for individuals and $82,500 for corporations for each individual act.