An Auckland lawyer says judges are not taking animal cruelty cases seriously, after a man who killed a cat with a crossbow was fined $500.
In Manukau District Court on Monday, Judge Charles Blackie also ordered the man, who pleaded guilty to wilful ill-treatment of an animal, to pay almost $900 for veterinary and prosecution costs.
The cat died after the incident in December.
Lawyer Catriona MacLennan says the sentence is pathetic for what she calls an horrific crime.
She says judges need to start delivering tougher sentences for cruelty to animals as a deterrent to others.
SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger says animal cruelty crimes are not inconsequential and there are links between the abuse of animals and people.