Wednesday, 10 February 2021
The State Government has continued its crusade against cowards caught committing acts of cruelty to animals by introducing Australia’s toughest suite of animal cruelty penalties, Minister for Agriculture and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said today.
Yesterday, Mr Marshall delivered the second read of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Bill 2021 in State Parliament, which will dramatically increase penalties for and the range of tools available to courts to better and more effectively deal with animal welfare offences in NSW.
“We’re taking the next step in our crusade by boosting protections for animals across the State by powering forward with our introduction of Australia’s toughest suite of penalties for animal cruelty offences,” Mr Marshall said.
“These laws send a clear message to those who commit abhorrent acts on animals; if you do the wrong thing, you will face most severe consequences.
“The new set of measures dramatically increases both financial penalties and gaol time and ensures that the courts can prevent people found guilty of the worst animal cruelty offences from owning, caring for or breeding animals in NSW.
“Our enforcement agencies do a great job and this Bill will put in place the penalty regime NSW needs to effectively punish those who engage in one of the lowest acts imaginable.
“This Bill doesn’t create any new offences but makes sure penalties reflect the seriousness of animal welfare offences and to act as a clear deterrent to those grubs considering abusing animals, especially in disgusting puppy factories.”
Mr Marshall said the changes received strong support through community consultation in 2020 and therefore he hoped the bill would receive the same support in Parliament.
“The NSW Government has made it clear it abhors cruelty to animals and will not tolerate it,” Mr Marshall said.
The proposed increases would introduce the following penalties:
- Failure to provide food and shelter: increase from $5,500 to $16,500 for individuals, per offence, with corporate penalties increasing from $27,500 to $82,500;
- Cruelty: increase from $5,500 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment per offence, to $44,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for individuals. The corporate penalty will increase from $27,500 to $220,000; and
- Aggravated cruelty: the maximum penalty per offence will increase from $22,000 to $110,000 for an individual and from $110,000 to $550,000 for a corporation.