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.

February 03, 2010

Penalty for cruelty to increase

Animal rights supporters are applauding the Government's move to increase punishment for animal cruelty, but say stricter penalties should also be imposed on owners of attacking dogs.

I'm not sure how this will reduce the number of attacking dogs? Send a 'clear message' ?! this only works if people are listening. What do we do?

....fill our jail with people, or educate people how they should interact with animals?

The Government announced yesterday that it would take over a member's bill by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges aimed at increasing the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from three to five years in prison.

SPCA national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said the move was long overdue, especially as animal cruelty cases were increasing in number and severity.

And why is that? Why don't we fund research to understand why this might be so?

In the past few months, there have been some high-profile cruelty cases, most recently the shooting of 33 dogs in Wellsford, north of Auckland.

Yes, all in the backyard of people's home... muzzle dogs at home now? or teach people how to recognise when a dog has had enough and wants to be left alone.

Last month an Aucklander was jailed for twisting the head off a kitten in front of his young children and a Gisborne man pleaded guilty to feeding live kittens to a pit bull.

Why did these people do this? do you think that increasing the penalty of jail would have stopped this?

In December, William Campbell, of Porirua, was jailed for 10 months and banned from owning a dog after stealing an old ridgeback and using him in a dogfight. Now this is a crime! theft

Wellington SPCA is investigating the case of a dog found drowned last month in Titahi Bay with a 10kg weight tied around its neck.

Perhaps the they rang the SPCA and they refused to rescue them? Perhaps there needs to be funding for desexing animals? Perhaps we should have a Humane Society in which they will rehome your dog/cat... and yes, it takes government funding. So does putting someone in jail!

Although the existing Animal Welfare Act gave animals rights, judges still seemed to view animal cruelty as akin to property crime instead of violent crime, Ms Kippenberger said.

"We've been getting sentences where you would get more if you took someone's couch and burned it. It's certainly not related to the suffering of the animal itself."

She said the proposed sentence increase sent a clear message that animal cruelty would not be tolerated. But it's NOT tolerated now?!? Let's get creative and fix the problem instead of putting a band-aid on it.

However, Ms Kippenberger said the owners of dogs that were trained to attack also needed to face stiffer penalties.

Wellington vet Allan Probert agreed that the owners of attacking dogs – who were normally just fined by the local council – needed stiffer penalties as a deterrent. He also proposed removing dogs' aggressive instincts through desexing. When it's ingrained, its ingrained. Desexing might help, but it might not too!

The animal cruelty provisions will be put into Agriculture Minister David Carter's Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, to be introduced to Parliament this month.


  • At 1:43 p.m., Blogger g said…

    hmmm, are you proposing that owners of attacking dogs should attend counselling?? yeah right ..

  • At 1:50 p.m., Blogger g said…

    the point being that until the govt sends a clear message to the judiciary that cruelty cases and the likes are highly offensive to society and wont be tolerated then judges will still base sentencing on historical case law which is wholly unacceptible in most circumstances as these offenders have statistically gone on to commit further and more horrific crimes...


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