It took two operations to remove the fishhooks that were ingested by a Staffordshire bull terrier owned by a 26-year-old Canberra woman, who was fined $123, banned from owning animals for ten years and sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour order, as reported across the territory this week.
Two dogs were seized by the RSPCA and found to be severely underweight, living in squalid conditions without access to water. Evidently they were so neglected that one was either bored or hungry enough to eat fishing lures, hooks and all.
There has certainly been an increase in the incidence or awareness of cruel acts to animals this year, both in the ACT with kittens and puppies being dumped, and at the national level with the revelations surrounding the greyhound-racing industry.
So how do we fix this and who are the governing bodies? Animal welfare and associated legislation are the responsibility of Territory and Municipal Services. Whilst thankfully this matter has come before the courts, the critical question is this:
Are the laws in the ACT currently robust enough to deter animal cruelty, or do they need to be updated so that the individuals responsible for such horrors are adequately punished?
What do you think?