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Time to get real on dog fighting



Dear Editor,
 
People in Brisbane and throughout Queensland are rightly disgusted at the light sentence handed out to a man who was involved in illegal dog fights. Some of the twenty dogs, who were seized from the Mount Cotton property last year, were wounded or covered in scars from dog fighting, none had bedding or clean water. The man pleaded guilty to a string of offences including failing to provide water to the animals, supplying dogs for fights and organising a fight. He also bred pups for fighting, and kept them in what the Brisbane magistrate described as appalling conditions. Some of the dogs were so aggressive they were put down by the RSPCA.
 
The sentence handed down this week certainly does not reflect the seriousness of this crime. The man was ordered to pay the RSPCA’s costs and an $800 fine, plus six months jail, but he will be released on parole in less than a month.
 
Penalties for cruelty under the Animal Care and Protection Act can be up to seven years jail or $235,600 fine. It's time that we started to impose these maximum sentences and treat cases of cruelty to animals as the serious crimes that they are. If you suspect someone of abusing animals, report it to authorities right away. It could mean the difference between life and death.
 
Desmond Bellamy
Special Projects Coordinator
PETA Australia
PO Box 2352
Byron Bay NSW 2481
0411 577 416
DesmondB@PETA.org.au