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  • Writer's pictureGeoff Harrison

Cruelty to Animals

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


Best Barrister, Best Lawyer, Best Solicitor, Best Criminal Barrister, Criminal Lawyer, Criminal Barrister, Cruelty to Animals, RSPCA

Published by Geoff Harrison | 21 September 2023


Offences for cruelty to animals is covered by both the NSW Crimes Act under s530 of the Crimes Act 1900 and ss5 & 6 of the Prevention of Cruetly to Animals Act 1979. Under s530 Crimes Act, the offence of serious animal cruelty is where a person intentionally inflicts severe pain, tortures or beats an animal is liable to 5 years imprisonment.The offence of animal cruelty carries a maximum penalty of $44,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment and the offence of aggravated animal cruelty carries a fine of $110,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.


Other Resources:

Cases:


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CRIMES ACT 1900 - SECT 530

Serious animal cruelty


(1) A person who, with the intention of inflicting severe pain--

(a) tortures, beats or commits any other serious act of cruelty on an animal, and

(b) kills or seriously injures or causes prolonged suffering to the animal,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty--Imprisonment for 5 years.


(1A) A person who, being reckless as to whether severe pain is inflicted--

(a) tortures, beats or commits any other serious act of cruelty on an animal, and

(b) kills or seriously injures or causes prolonged suffering to the animal,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty--Imprisonment for 3 years.


(2) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against this section if--

(a) the conduct occurred in accordance with an authority conferred by or under the Animal Research Act 1985 or any other Act or law, or

(b) the conduct occurred in the course of or for the purposes of routine agricultural or animal husbandry activities, recognised religious practices, the extermination of pest animals or veterinary practice.


(3) In this section--


"animal" means a mammal (other than a human being), a bird or a reptile.


"kill or seriously injure" an animal includes, in the case where the animal is used as a lure or kill in the manner referred to in section 21 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 , cause or permit a dog to kill or seriously injure the animal.


"serious act of cruelty" on an animal includes the act of using the animal as a lure or kill in the manner referred to in section 21 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.


Note: Sections 97- 99 of the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 enable the court that convicts a person of an offence under this section in connection with the trialling or training of greyhounds to make certain orders requiring the animal to be destroyed, requiring payment of the costs of destroying or taking other action in respect of the animal and prohibiting the person from keeping any animal.


PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT 1979 - SECT 5

Cruelty to animals


(1) A person shall not commit an act of cruelty upon an animal.


(2) A person in charge of an animal shall not authorise the commission of an act of cruelty upon the animal.


(3) A person in charge of an animal shall not fail at any time--

(a) to exercise reasonable care, control or supervision of an animal to prevent the commission of an act of cruelty upon the animal,

(b) where pain is being inflicted upon the animal, to take such reasonable steps as are necessary to alleviate the pain, or

(c) where it is necessary for the animal to be provided with veterinary treatment, whether or not over a period of time, to provide it with that treatment.

Maximum penalty--

(a) for a corporation--2,000 penalty units, or

(b) for an individual--400 penalty units or imprisonment for 1 year, or both.


Aggravated cruelty to animals

6 AGGRAVATED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS


(1) A person shall not commit an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal.

Maximum penalty--

(a) for a corporation--5,000 penalty units, or

(b) for an individual--1,000 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.


(2) In any proceedings for an offence against subsection (1), the court may--

(a) where it is not satisfied that the person accused of the offence is guilty of the offence, and

(b) where it is satisfied that that person is guilty of an offence against section 5 (1),

convict that person of an offence against section 5 (1).


s4 Defenitions:

...

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person commits an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal if the person commits an act of cruelty upon the animal or (being the person in charge of the animal) contravenes section 5 (3) in a way which results in--

(a) the death, deformity or serious disablement of the animal, or

(b) the animal being so severely injured, so diseased or in such a physical condition that it is cruel to keep it alive.

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