Cruelty laws not tough enough, says RSPCA

The Age, Maris Beck and Reid Sexton; Feb 4, 2012

The Rockbank property authorities raided on Thursday.

The Rockbank property authorities raided on Thursday. Photo: Michael Copp

THE RSPCA says animal cruelty laws are insufficient as more than 100 goats, sheep, pigs and dogs remain in the custody of a man who has allegedly been slaughtering dogs for meat and against whom repeated cruelty complaints have been made to authorities.

The owner, Peter Avraam, 41, voluntarily surrendered eight dogs to the RSPCA yesterday and two others the day before. But about nine dogs remain in reportedly squalid conditions on the property, along with about 110 livestock.

The state government introduced tougher penalties for cruelty last year, but chief executive of the RSPCA Victoria, Maria Mercurio, said enforcement was still hamstrung and minimum standards were ”simply not good enough”.

”We would like to see not only stricter laws but stricter codes of practice too, which set out minimum standards for the keeping of animals.

”Sadly, what the RSPCA and the community would deem as unacceptable standards is not often the case by law … We certainly understand the community’s frustrations as we share those with them; however, it is saddening to think sometimes it is perceived we are not doing everything in our power.”

Animal advocate Debra Tranter took matters into her own hands on Thursday night, travelling to the Rockbank, property to persuade Avraam to relinquish the dogs to her. He gave her a female, believed to be a Great Dane-cross, whose bones showed clearly and who had been kept in a cage so small she could not stand up.

Avraam, who has been charged with multiple drug, stolen-property and ammunition offences, had complied with an RSPCA instruction to move the dog to a bigger pen by the time Ms Tranter had arrived. But she said it had been put in another filthy, small pen with a bowl of rotting food and cowered when Avraam neared.

The RSPCA has the power to make applications to a court to seize animals suffering cruelty or at risk. But Ms Mercurio said: ”Each animal was examined by our inspectors and an independent vet. Where issues were found, we gave legal orders to the owner related to the animal’s welfare.”

Authorities received multiple reports last year, from sources they considered reliable, that dogs were being illegally slaughtered there for meat. Investigations continue into possible unregistered dog offences, illegal slaughtering offences, and illegal wildlife possession. The authority responsible for meat safety, PrimeSafe, found no evidence of dogs being killed.

A state government spokeswoman said: ”Where warranted, the RSPCA has the ability to act.”
Original here……..



Filed under Animal cruelty, Victoria

3 responses to “Cruelty laws not tough enough, says RSPCA

  1. Jan Baker

    If a child was being mistreated, starved & living in shocking conditions that child would be removed from that environment…..why should it be any different with the welfare of animals. Why do animals come way down the list these are breathing living animals who deserve respect. Why are these irresponsible people allowed to keep animals in these conditions. The law stinks & is not giving authority to the RSPCA or AWL & rescue groups to be allowed to take these animals away. Debra Tranter is an inspiration to all animal lovers. We need harsher laws & laws to prevent these sort of people owning animals EVER!! Give councils the authority to go into their area that they are responsible for & close down these places & take away these poor animals that are suffering. What has happened to man kind to allow this to happen in this century. We are going backwards. We have to stand up for the rights of ALL animals.

  2. In this day and age in a supposed enlightened society it is really saddening and maddening that the laws have not changed. Bottom line we need to change the laws to stop this from continually happening as well as tougher penalties for those who do it including jail time. When will the government listen to what we the people want. RSPCA work within their limits but they should also be lobbying for changes to the law. If they and we the people presented a united front you would hope that the politicians whose wages we pay would listen.?

  3. Helen

    Queensland RSPCA now can seize all dogs and also when cruelty exists the perpetrator now is totally banned for 3 years or life from owning any animal. Also under Australian law, that bastard has no right to slaughter dogs for feed. The reverse should happen to him. He needs stringing up.
    Whatever happened to lynch mobs. Too laid back.

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