MLA calls for penalty review

Dr Buti expressed his outrage at the news thieves had broken the legs of a 15-year-old dog during a house burglary in Camillo.

‘These callous individuals must get the harshest penalty available under the Western Australian Animal Welfare Act for this shocking act of violence against an innocent animal,’ he said.

‘I extend my sympathy to the owners of the dog which required euthanising. As a dog owner myself I can imagine how distressed they must be at losing their beloved pet in such a cowardly, despicable way.’

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2002, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty is five years imprisonment and $50,000 fine.

Dr Buti said the legislation needed to reflect the severity of the crime and a violent attack on an animal deserved harsher fines and longer prison terms.

‘We also have to try and educate people about animal welfare issues to prevent attacks like this happening again.

‘Actions such as these make us all question where our community is headed.’

Dr Buti said animal protection agencies such as the RSPCA needed more resources so they had a greater ability to prosecute.

He has given his support to a discussion paper, Strengthening Animal Welfare in WA, released in April 2012.

It suggests a review of the Animal Welfare Act 2002, the creation of a WA Animal Welfare Strategy and an independent body to administer the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and monitor compliance.