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RSPCA ACT believes the penalties handed down to those convicted of animal cruelty through the ACT Magistrates Court have been unsatisfactory.

A recent case demonstrated the inability of the ACT Magistrates Court to hand down an appropriate sentence. A local Canberra woman, Annette Banks was found guilty on two counts of failure to seek vet treatment and one count of neglect to cause pain for two dogs in her care. One of her dogs Lucky had to be euthanised for humane reasons as he was extremely skinny and living with open sores near his scrotum and anus that were infested with maggots. The penalty for this case was just a $483 fine including court costs. No animal ban was issued.

RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange believes that penalties like this are unsatisfactory, “It is appalling for an owner to clearly show no care for the wellbeing of their pet in such a way that their animal has suffered greatly. To know that an individual who was just convicted of cruelty against animals can immediately get another animal is ridiculous“

RSPCA ACT has started a petition to gain public support for harsher penalties.

Tammy said, “We have over 20 cases currently going through court. Just about every other day our inspectors bring in another neglected, abused or abandoned animal. If we don’t get the public support now, every one of these cases in the future is meaningless. “

RSPCA ACT is encouraging members of the Canberra to support tougher penalties for animal cruelty crimes in the ACT by signing the petition today:


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