The SPCA is welcoming proposed changes to animal welfare laws, which it says will make it easier to crack down on rule-breakers.
The Government wants to replace codes of welfare with a mix of mandatory standards and guidelines. The maximum fine will rise from $200 to $1000.
SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger says the current codes lack teeth but with these changes the Primary Industries Ministry will be able to police transgressions in the same way that Fisheries does.
She says something is needed between education and prosecution for less serious infringements.
"Feed your dog, put water out and we can do something about that with this particular regime, other than prosecuting. Prosecuting is extreme, it costs us a lot of money and it isn't perhaps what we want."