If you don’t fancy walking your dog today then you could face a huge fine if you live in ACT.
The strict new legislation is being brought in after the government formally recognised animals as ‘sentient beings’ with the ability to experience sensations such as suffering, pain or pleasure.
Dog owners won’t be fined if their canine companions are kept in the garden where they can run around. There will also be exemptions for owners whose pets need to be kept inside for their own health or wellbeing. But they will be breaking the law if their pet is kept inside for a whole day and not exercised.
The ACT government proposed an amendment that said that pets would be classed as being confined if they are kept in an enclosed space.
But the penalties don’t end there.
Food, water and shelter
Pet owners who don’t give their animals enough food, water or quality shelter, will also be hit with a $4,000.
The ACT government also want to clamp down on dogfighting and other violent animal activities. Anyone caught taking part in such events will face fines of $48,000 and three years in prison.
These strict new laws have been widely welcomed, with some people believing they are long overdue. City Services Minister Chris Steel told The Canberra Times:
“We've sadly seen recent incidents across our city of animal welfare abuses occurring and we need laws that allow us to take appropriate, balanced action against people who are doing the wrong thing”.
RSPCA ACT chief executive Michelle Robertson agreed, adding:
“We believe that most Canberrans are responsible and loving pet owners, and foresee very little impact that this will have on responsible pet owners or businesses who have animals on site. The changes could, however, have a significant impact on people who continuously neglect or who have no regard for the welfare of animals in their care”.