Target: Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett
Goal: Thank Western Australia for the decision to give animal rights groups more power
Laws are currently being drafted by the government of Western Australia that will give Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) inspectors the power to hand out fines for animal abuse and neglect. Currently only a magistrate has such power. The law will effectively take the red tape out of animal abuse convictions and deserves our praise.
Under the new law, RSPCA inspectors will be able to assess fines on the spot for leaving an animal in a hot car, driving a pickup truck with an animal in the back, animal cruelty, and failing to properly take care of any pet or farm animal. Penalties are currently being determined, but will likely fall between $200 and $500, which are the current fines in New South Wales and Tasmania where they have already passed similar laws. Additionally, anyone who hinders or does not comply with an inspector in any way will be fined $400. Officers for the Department of Agriculture will also be able to hand out fines to farmers.
All major cases of animal abuse will of course still be handled in court, but this new law will dramatically improve the number of fines and convictions for cases of animal cruelty. Most cases never reach the courts and the ones that do rarely result in penalties. Though the fines may be small, giving inspectors the ability to hand them out on the spot will ensure that the abuser will be punished and should act as a deterrent. The WA government is also hoping that the law will free up the courts as the majority of the 4,000 animal abuse cases they see a year would be taken care of outside of the courtroom.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and thank Western Australia for its commitment to protecting the lives of animals. This new legislation is a big step for animal rights and will hopefully be an influence for the rest of the world.
Dear Premier Barnett,
The government of Western Australia is currently drafting a law that will give inspectors for the RSPCA the power to hand out fines on the spot for acts of animal abuse. Thank you so much for your effort to ensure that animal abusers are held accountable for their actions. There is little doubt that such a law will act as a powerful deterrent and drastically reduce the number of cases of animal cruelty throughout Australia.
Again, thank you, and I hope the rest of the world looks to you for guidance as to how animal cruelty and neglect should be dealt with.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: grilled cheese via Flickr