The Palaszczuk Labor Government has blocked an LNP amendment backed by the RSPCA that would have increased the penalties for pet owners who leave animals trapped in hot vehicles.
The LNP amendment to the Agriculture Bill 2019 would have made leaving an animal in a hot vehicle a cruelty offence, with a maximum penalty of three years’ prison or a $266,900 fine.
A second LNP amendment would have imposed the same increased penalty on people convicted of dog-baiting.
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said he was frustrated that Labor had refused to back practical measures to prevent animal cruelty.
“Labor has put petty politics before animal protection,” Mr Perrett said.
“The LNP is ready to work with Labor to protect animals, but Annastacia Palaszczuk would rather argue about animal cruelty than stop it.
“The RSPCA receives around a thousand reports of animals trapped in sweltering cars each year and the charity itself requested the amendment the LNP put forward.
“The LNP believes it’s time we got tough with people who callously let dogs suffer in horrific conditions. It’s a shame Labor doesn’t feel the same.
“Labor should also have backed our plan for tougher sentences for criminal dog-baiting.
“Animals have rights too and the LNP will fight to protect them.”
Background on LNP amendments to the Agriculture and Other Legislation Bill 2019:
1. Increases the penalties from 300 penalty units or 1 year’s imprisonment to a maximum penalty—2,000 penalty units ($266,900) or 3 years imprisonment for confining an animal, for example a dog, in a vehicle that causes heat stress or other pain to the animal is treated as a cruelty offence, not just a duty of care offence.
2. Increases the penalties from 300 penalty units or 1 year’s imprisonment to a maximum penalty—2,000 penalty units ($266,900) or 3 years imprisonment for the penalty for baiting an animal with the intention of injuring or killing the animal using a substance the person knows is harmful or poisonous to the animal - in line with the penalties for a cruelty offence.