RSPCA (WA) wants on-the-spot fines for animal cruelty

Perth Now. 25 Sept 2010

RSPCA inspectors want the power to hit cruel or lazy pet owners with on-the-spot fines.

 The proposal is being investigated by the WA Government.

Under current laws people accused of animal cruelty can argue their case in court and only a magistrate can issue a fine for those convicted of an offence.

But the RSPCA is calling for new laws that would allow inspectors to hit pet owners, farmers or anyone who mistreats an animal with an on-the-spot infringement.

Local Government Minister John Castrilli said there were “a number of potential benefits” in allowing animal inspectors the power to issue fines and he said it was “something I intend to investigate further”.

In New South Wales and Tasmania, RSPCA officers can hand out fines ranging from $200 to $500 for minor offences such as leaving a dog in a hot car or driving a ute with an untethered animal in the back. Major cases of cruelty are still prosecuted in court.

Last month a kangaroo had its legs shot off and the mother and its joey were left for dead in Donnybrook in the South-West.

RSPCA WA spokesman Tim Mayne said inspectors had seen sickening examples of animals beaten with metal clubs and attacked with knives and crossbows this year. Drowning and starvation were also common causes of cruelty, he said.

Mr Mayne said on-the-spot fines would send a loud and clear message to animal cruelty offenders.

RSPCA inspectors carried out 3936 cruelty investigations and animal rescues in WA last financial year, down from 4419 in 2008-09 but up from 3117 in 2007-08.

“The RSPCA wants to get the message clear that animal cruelty and neglect will not be tolerated in today’s society and this is totally unacceptable behaviour,” Mr Mayne said.

Mr Castrilli said he first wanted to develop cat-control legislation and finalise amendments to the Dog Act.

The Federal Government was also working on animal cruelty reforms that would affect how the crimes were policed in WA, Mr Castrilli said.

“The Commonwealth Government is developing codes of practice to harmonise a national approach to animal welfare outcomes which are likely to become enforceable under regulations,” he said.

 To access original story, click here


Filed under WA

3 responses to “RSPCA (WA) wants on-the-spot fines for animal cruelty

  1. companionanimalnews

    Here are some of the reader’s comments:
    • Chris of Rockingham
    If a Council ranger can issue an on-the-spot fine because people are smoking in a park then surely an RSPCA officer should be able to issue a fine to someone being openly cruel to an animal. This would also save tax payers for not every prosecution would end in court, just the ones when the accused believes that they were justified in harming an animal.

    • Perthian
    Give the RSPCA and all those doing good for animals all the rights and things they need to do their job properly!! Scum who abuse animals don’t deserve a break! If you cant look after them, give them to some one who can!! Filthy Animals!

    • What a joke of Perth
    The RSPCA is a joke when it comes to dealing with doing something about animal cruelty – on the spot fines won’t improve things – they have to witness the event but don’t attend when called by the public as I have experienced. What good will fines do – people who are cruel to animals may have other issues that need to be dealt with and how does a fine help the animal being hurt from not being hurt, or worse, in the future?

    • Kathy of Perth
    Horray ! Isnt this so overdue! Now lets see the jail terms increased to a level where its closer to the same crimes committed on people. And lets set up the animal cruelty offenders register which has been previously suggested, as many of these offenders go on to hurt people as well. Lets keep up with the ever increasing global change to improve animal welfare. And lets eat less meat as that alone will save a mountain of pain and suffering.

    • Mandy of Perth
    I fully agree with this. A shame they can’t lock some people up right there and then!

    • Hunter of Perth
    Anyone that enjoys causing pain to an animal is messed up in the head. Forget the vegetarian cause and all that rubbish, but getting joy out of hurting animals is mentally screwed. Next week it’ll be people they’ll be going for, lock the scum away.

    • Clarification please
    What is a ‘lazy’ pet owner? One who doesn’t take their dog for a walk every day? One who doesn’t buy a ball throwing gadget and use it? One who doesn’t bath their dog fortnightly or clip its nails?.. Clarification please.

    • Noel Ginbey of Midland
    This is long over-due. The WA Government should give the RSPCA the power now! But the fines need to be even higher.

    • Glenda of Perth
    Anything – any new legislation to stop the abuse. These animals have no voice. We only can speak for them. Cruelty to animals is absolutely sickening. For the animals …

    • Lauren of Milan
    I agree with the RSPCA! I can’t see what bad could come of it. If there’s a way for us to rack down harder on animal cruelty, then I’m on board! Being cruel to animals is sick – in fact being cruel to anyone/anything (esp children and animals who are smaller and defenceless) is one of the worst crimes in my opinion. Look at other more heavily prosecuted crimes such as speeding – it’s dangerous because it can endanger the lives of others, however it’s often done not deliberately and not with the intent to hurt anyone. People who hurt and torture animals do it knowingly and perversely! They need to be given more than an on-the-spot-fine.

    • jns of Perth
    As much as animal cruelty is horrid, on the spot fines is just further judicial failure, and a lack of legal procedure of the democratic system. The rspca is a great organisation but should not be circumventing due process to push their agenda, not to mention a court appearance and record pushes home the severity of the crime far more than simply taxing them at a whim.

    • Always Watching
    Too bloody right. These cruel bastards should not be walking around.

    • Dazza of Dianella
    Totally agree but make the fines high and enforce to the fullest…

    • what_the of Sunny WA
    about bloody time maybe then the RSPCA will have the money to prosecute more

    • Reinstate State AW Inspectors
    This may address acts when they are caught but what about reinstating the State Animal Welfare Inspectors so they can monitor and check on the performance of the livestock industry so that cruelty can be prevented?? RSPCA deal with companion animals- that’s well known but they are not the lead agency for livestock that is also known. Castrilli needs to replace the state inspectors so that they can inspect live export, transport and saleyards- three areas which are NOT being inspected at present
    • Tell the truth Posted
    What a joke of Perth- you are so right. In fact high fines and long sentences do NOT prevent cruelty. What PREVENTS cruelty is being there and the RSPCA are NOT there when it comes to livestock. Yes they recat to the odd case of reported farm cruelty, but they have failed over many many years to deal with saleyard, transport and live export cruelty because it is big commercial business they face and they will not take a chance with prosecuting big business- besides they don’t actively enforce legislation when it comes to the farming industry. It is well known and accepted that the RSPCA should not have legislation- they are a charity and what ever is state legislation given to a charity- it is bizarre beyond words. The state gives them the responsibility of companion animals because they don’t want to do it. The state government is to blame.

    • State laws enacted by state govt.
    No Noel Ginbey of Midland – you obviously do not understand the law nor do you understand the dangers of giving state legislation to a charity with its own agenda. RSPCA has the wife of the ex president of the WA farmers federation on its controlling board. So what does this mean? Think about it carefully!! The RSPCA has its own agenda..and it isn’t to protect livestock from cruelty either. The WA lot FAILED to undertake even 1 routine inspection of any facility which houses or breeds animals in 2008-2009. That info is on the RSPCA National website. That in itself is disgusting. The power MUST be removed from this charity and handed to the state for many ethical and legal reasons.

  2. Jan Baker

    Yes there is so much that the RSPCA can do….I agree that the State needs to take more responsibility…they need to have the authority for rangers provided by local Councils to go into puppy farms & live stock farms to see & inspect & be able to close them down there & then if there is signs of animals mistreated, the conditions that they live in & the state of the animals health….don’t give out fines which half of them won’t pay…let them know that the law means business….we can’t have the inhumane treatment of animals in this country….we are not a third world country ….the C/Wealth Government needs to bring in codes for Animal Welfare & stand by them….

  3. Pingback: RSPCA (WA) wants on-the-spot fines for animal cruelty (via Companionanimalnews) « Brittany Bloomer

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