RSPCA NSW has welcomed the announcement of the push for tougher penalties for animal cruelty offences in New South Wales.
NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said he will introduce into State Parliament notice for legislation in what would be the harshest penalties for animal cruelty in Australia.
The new set of measures will increase maximum financial penalties and prison time under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, as well as introduce new powers to ban an individual from ever being allowed to own, care for or breed an animal in NSW.
“We are absolutely supportive of these proposed changes,” RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said.
“We hear from our members and supporters far too often that they consider sentences for cruelty offenders to be inadequate, and this is a big step towards addressing those concerns.
“For animal cruelty offenders, the message is that courts will be empowered to deal with them appropriately, in line with community expectation.
“For us, the introduction of lifetime bans will help address repeat offenders, which sadly is one of the biggest issues we encounter, and the increased penalties will make people think twice before committing the offences,” he added.
The announcement follows the establishment of RSPCA NSW’s Breeder Compliance Unit last month, a part of the Inspectorate tasked with investigating inadequate conditions and standards at intensive dog breeding facilities which will see non-compliant breeders made doubly accountable for their actions.