The law comes with specific punishment for a variety of infractions in a bid to tighten up lax prosecutions from previous years.
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Trigger Warning: This story may contain details of animal cruelty some users may find disturbing.
Pet owners who abuse and torture their animals are "absolute scum", according to an Australian minister who spoke after the unveiling of the country's toughest animal cruelty law. Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall spoke to The Daily Telegraph in the aftermath of introducing the law, which comes with fines worth 110,000 AUD (about $80,000) and two years jail time for abusers found guilty of torture. The law comes with specific punishment for a variety of infractions, including 16,500 AUD($12,000) for those who don't provide food and shelter for pets along with up to six months in jail. Those found guilty of bashing dogs, torturing horses, or drowning cats will have to pay fines of 110,000 AUD and also face the possibility of spending two years behind bars.
🐕 Animals are often used as an instrument of #coercivecontrol to torment #DomesticViolence victims.— Mark Speakman #PractiseSocialDistancing (@MarkSpeakman) October 18, 2020
🐈 We’ve heard of pets being injured, tortured + killed to keep victims in violent homes.
⚖️Moving this week to boost #ADVO protections + refuge support to help victims leave. pic.twitter.com/WcbH7N93UZ
The new and stricter pet laws will be introduced by Marshall next week. Speaking of the law to The Daily Telegraph as per Mail Online, the minister said: "People who commit these offenses are without a doubt the worst of the worst people, they are absolute scum. In some cases, these punishments are more than double that in most other states, so when these laws are passed, NSW will have the toughest set of animal cruelty penalties in Australia." The law comes in the midst of extremely lax prosecution for abusers with less than 1% facing legal action currently. As per RSPCA, as many as 14,000 animal welfare complaints are recorded each year and only 100 cases end up receiving punishment for the three main offenses.
Aussie pet owners who abuse their animals to face $110,000 fines and two years prison under new laws https://t.co/KvGB7lk43R— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) November 8, 2020
"For the very first time, we will be giving powers to the courts to issue an order for an individual from ever owning, caring, or even breeding an animal anywhere in NSW," Marshall added. Back in 2017, a Sydney man was fined just 5,500 AUD ($4000) for punching and kicking a dog before swinging the pet by its choker chain. Under the soon-to-be-introduced law, the man would have been forced to pay 44,000 AUD ($32,000) in fines and would have faced up to 12 months behind bars. In a similar case from early 2020, a 25-year-old man named Hongyou Zou was sentenced to 16 months in prison, of which eight months were under non-parole, on charges of aggravated cruelty after he left his Maremma Sheepdog to starve to death on his balcony.
The case became increasingly controversial when photos of the emaciated animal lying in filth became public after she was found dead at Kingsford in Sydney's inner-east in June last year by inspectors. A post-mortem report later revealed that the dog had no fat content on her body and has suffered severe muscle atrophy. In the United States, plenty of states have laws that guard pets against cruelty although none so stringent in terms of the penalties. Called the Libre's Law and in use in Pennsylvania, the law specifically deals with owners who leave their pets outdoors in extreme weather. The law states that it's illegal for owners to leave their dogs outside for more than half an hour if the temperature is under 32°F (0°C) or over 90°F (32.2°C), Lancaster Online reported.
When I promised to protect all Pennsylvanians, I meant our furry friends too. That’s why I signed Libre’s law, landmark animal protection legislation, to protect animals in Pennsylvania from abuse. Read more: https://t.co/D0YJ8f81Zq #WolfForPA pic.twitter.com/JmoNJBLr5R— Tom Wolf (@TomWolfPA) October 19, 2018
The law was inspired by a rescue dog named Libre, who was discovered in appalling living conditions in Southern Lancaster County. When a friendly passerby found the dog in its tragic state, local animal rescuers were immediately called to the scene where they rescued and saved him. The animal rescue team found that Libre was only seven weeks old, and had already been through immense trauma, neglect, and abuse from his owners. Since being rescued, however, Libre has recovered well and his spirits are high.