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Don’t worry, animal cruelty will only cost you $123

By JordanHartas - 26 May 2015 4

dog xray

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? 

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4 Responses to
Don’t worry, animal cruelty will only cost you $123
Alexandra Craig 8:11 am 28 May 15

Grimm said :

The laws and available penalties are fine. It is the judges handing out those penalties that are usually the problem. In this case though, I don’t know the full story and haven’t seen the dogs or their living conditions. Maybe that’s all the penalty that was warranted. Do you have any photos of the animals or their living conditions that would show otherwise?

A dog doesn’t exactly have to be bored or hungry to get into a tackle box and eat things it shouldn’t. They are dogs. Many of them will get into things and chew things up that they shouldn’t. Being careless with where you leave a tackle box is a mistake, not a case of animal cruelty.

Forgive me if I am somewhat skeptical of the RSPCAs opinion on the condition of the dogs after their show on a herd of Murray Grey cattle. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/court-finds-rspca-inspector-negligent-in-shooting-of-131-pure-bred-cattle-20150526-gh9yia.html

Not exactly an isolated case of the over zealousness of their inspectors either, even right here in Canberra.

As the article said, the dogs were neglected. They were starving so were eating anything they could get. I’ve seen some photos – they were living in a filthy backyard with rubbish everywhere and they were very skinny 🙁

Rustygear 10:10 am 27 May 15

A fine of $123 is just slightly more than a parking fine (don’t ask). You’d think a conviction at a hearing would carry a greater penalty. But more generally, an update of animal cruelty laws in step with community opinions could be in order. I would offer that it should be an offence to let an animal you own cause cruelty to another animal – so pet cats catching native birds would be an offence for which the cat owner is liable.

Grimm 9:54 am 27 May 15

The laws and available penalties are fine. It is the judges handing out those penalties that are usually the problem. In this case though, I don’t know the full story and haven’t seen the dogs or their living conditions. Maybe that’s all the penalty that was warranted. Do you have any photos of the animals or their living conditions that would show otherwise?

A dog doesn’t exactly have to be bored or hungry to get into a tackle box and eat things it shouldn’t. They are dogs. Many of them will get into things and chew things up that they shouldn’t. Being careless with where you leave a tackle box is a mistake, not a case of animal cruelty.

Forgive me if I am somewhat skeptical of the RSPCAs opinion on the condition of the dogs after their show on a herd of Murray Grey cattle. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/court-finds-rspca-inspector-negligent-in-shooting-of-131-pure-bred-cattle-20150526-gh9yia.html

Not exactly an isolated case of the over zealousness of their inspectors either, even right here in Canberra.

Alexandra Craig 10:13 pm 26 May 15

Disgusting! Animal cruelty needs to be taken far more seriously in all jurisdictions. $123 is only slightly more than your average parking ticket and far less than what being caught speeding will cost you.

This animal was not neglected in a once-off incident, it was an ongoing problem so the owners see no problem with their behaviour and a $123 fine isn’t going to make them change.

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