The Animals and Birds (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament in 5 November 2014

The previous legislation prohibits a wide range of cruel conduct to animals, from beating, kicking, ill-treatment to abandonment. Under the new law, pet owners, animal-related businesses, animal shelters, people who foster animals and those who care for animals on behalf of family or friends.these groups must not only avoid such acts, but they must also provide a positive duty of care. This means they must take steps to ensure that efforts are taken to recover a missing animal and ensure that an animal is cared for in accordance with Codes of Animal Welfare.

It means that animals should be:

– Provided with adequate and suitable food and water.
– Given adequate shelter.
– Not confined or physically handled to cause unreasonable or unnecessary pain and suffering.
– Protected from and receive rapid diagnosis of any significant injury or disease.

The new law will toughen the penalties against those convicted of animal cruelty. Previously, animal abusers faced fines of up to $10,000 and/or a one-year jail term. Now, this will go up to a maximum fine of $30,000 and/or a three-year jail term.

Animal-related businesses that contravene the new law will face fines of up to $100,000 and/or a three-year jail term. This is up from the maximum $10,000 fine and/or a one-year jail term. Businesses that do not provide training for staff can be fined up to $5,000, face a maximum jail term of six months, or both. They can also be banned from doing business for up to a year.

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