The Government has introduced legislation increasing the penalties for animal cruelty.
The legislation would raise the maximum penalty for wilful ill-treatment of an animal from three to five years imprisonment.The maximum fine would double to $100,000.
The bill adds the new offence of reckless ill-treatment of an animal, which would carry a maximum of three years in prison, a fine of $75,000, or both.
That would apply where it can be proved a person knew that serious harm to an animal could occur and unreasonably ran the risk.
The fines for neglect of animals would also double under the legislation to a maximum of $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a body corporate.