New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

October 19, 2009

Tougher animal cruelty punishments needed

A group of senior lawyers is calling for higher maximum sentences in cases of extreme animal cruelty.

The pro bono "panel of prosecutors", which offers free legal services to the Auckland SPCA, said higher sentences would send a clear message that violence against animals was unacceptable .

The panel was set up in April to help the SPCA meet the costs of prosecutions.

Panel member David Jones QC said sentences imposed in cases of extreme animal abuse fell considerably short of the maximum penalty.

While the law allowed for sentences of up to three years' jail, the longest sentence imposed was 12 months, which was subsequently reduced to 10.

Actual sentences would increase if the maximum penalty was raised to five years, Mr Jones told the Auckland Law Society newsletter Law News.

"This would add to the effectiveness of animal welfare legislation and bring home to the public that animal cruelty is not acceptable." MORE>>

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