Monday 26 October, 2020

Animal abusers beware: $100,000 fine, one year jail time now in effect

Image by Anja from Pixabay.

Image by Anja from Pixabay.

Update May 14, 2020:

An amendment to the Summary Offences Act which outlines an increase in penalties for acts of cruelty toward animals to $100,000 with one year jail time is now in effect. 

The Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2020, which included amendments to the Sections 79, 80 and 83 of the Summary Offences Act, was proclaimed by President Paula May Weekes on May 11, 2020. 

The development comes after the gruesome hanging of a dog in Embacadere and another incident involving a viral photo of a dog that had been chopped. 

Previously, animal cruelty fines were a mere $400 and up to two months jail time. 

Animal welfare groups have long lobbied for stricter measures on animal cruelty along with more animal welfare regulations, including an end to fireworks, which many have said has a traumatic effect on animals. 

The Summary Offences Act has now been amended as follows:

Section 79:

"79. (1) Any person who cruelly beats, ill-treats, starves, overdrives, overrides, overloads, abuses, tortures, or otherwise maltreats any animal is liable to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year."

Section 80:

“Any person who works any animal in such a condition as to be unfit for work, whether from lameness or from emaciation or from any gall or sore or otherwise, and whether that condition is caused by disease or deficient feeding or otherwise, in any cart, plough, or carriage, or other vehicle of pleasure or burden, is liable to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year."

Section 83:

“Any person who—

(a) in any manner encourages, aids, or assists at the fighting or baiting of any animal, whether domestic or wild; or

(b) keeps or uses or acts in the management of any place to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any such animal; or

(c) being the owner or occupier of any place, permits or suffers it to be so used, is liable to a fine of four one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year."

See a link to the Act here: https://bit.ly/2y6HVeU

Update April 30, 2020: 

Legislation increasing fines for animal cruelty up to $100,000 and jail time of up to one year has been approved by the Lower House and will be brought before the Senate.

Clause 7 of the Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, 2020, proposes to amend sections of the Summary Offences Act dealing with animal cruelty to increase the fine from $400 to $100,000, and to increase imprisonment upon conviction from two months to one year. 

 

The Bill was approved, with amendments, in the House of Representatives and will move to the Senate.

The development comes after the gruesome hanging of a dog in Embacadere and another incident involving a viral photo of a dog that had been chopped. 

Section 79 (1) of the Summary Offences Act currently states:

“79. (1) Any person who cruelly beats, ill-treats, starves, overdrives, overrides, overloads, abuses, tortures, or otherwise maltreats any animal is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.

Section 80 currently states:

“Any person who works any animal in such a condition as to be unfit for work, whether from lameness or from emaciation or from any gall or sore or otherwise, and whether that condition is caused by disease or deficient feeding or otherwise, in any cart, plough, or carriage, or other vehicle of pleasure or burden, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.”

Section 83 currently states:

“83. (1) Any person who—

(a) in any manner encourages, aids, or assists at the fighting or baiting of any animal, whether domestic or wild; or

(b) keeps or uses or acts in the management of any place to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any such animal; or

(c) being the owner or occupier of any place, permits or suffers it to be so used, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.”

For more details on the Bill see here: https://bit.ly/2ySbu3A

 

Original story: 

Government will propose an increase in animal cruelty fines from $400 to $100,000, and an increase in jail time from two months to one year, when Parliament convenes on Wednesday. 

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat, commented on a social media post made by animal activist Venus, Doggess of Love, saying the legislation would be brought to Parliament on Wednesday.

“The Animal Welfare Bill was laid in the Parliament late last year and has to be debated. In the interim we have drafted a change to the existing Summary Offences Act to increase the fine for animal cruelty from $400 to $100,000 and the term of imprisonment from 2 months to one year. I had posted about wanting to increase to $200,000 and 5 years, but $100,000 and 1 year was approved." 

"This change would be debated in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 as part of a Miscellaneous Bill.”

The development comes after the gruesome hanging of a dog in Embacadere and another incident involving a viral photo of a dog that had been chopped. 

The Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2020, proposes to amend Section 79(1) of the Summary Offences Act by increasing the current fine from $400 to $100,000 and increasing jail time from two months to one year:

“7. The Summary Offences Act is amended –

(a) in section 79(1), by deleting the words “four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months” and substituting the words “one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year”;

(b) in section 80, by deleting the words “four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months” and substituting the words “one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year”; and

(c) in section 83(1), by deleting the words “four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months” and substituting the words “one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of one year”.

Many commented positively, saying they look forward to the amendments.

Sharon Burford: 

"This is good news...it's a start. I do hope that they keep to the schedule of having this heard in Parliament and the laws are amended swiftly and followed up with consistent enforcement by a sensitized police force."

Alvin Jodhan: 

"Animal cruelty is a serious matter and should be treated as such."

Susan Rampersad: 

"Thank you Minister, I pray this bill is passed without delay, too many innocent animals are suffering and those who care are limited in what help they can offer, it's heartbreaking to see animals being starved, abused or neglected and there's nothing one can do to stop it. Tougher laws and enforcement are what's needed and will be a step in the right direction. No animal should suffer at the hands of man."

Section 79 (1) of the Summary Offences Act currently states:

“79. (1) Any person who cruelly beats, ill-treats, starves, overdrives, overrides, overloads, abuses, tortures, or otherwise maltreats any animal is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.

Section 80 currently states:

“Any person who works any animal in such a condition as to be unfit for work, whether from lameness or from emaciation or from any gall or sore or otherwise, and whether that condition is caused by disease or deficient feeding or otherwise, in any cart, plough, or carriage, or other vehicle of pleasure or burden, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.”

Section 83 currently states:

“83. (1) Any person who—

(a) in any manner encourages, aids, or assists at the fighting or baiting of any animal, whether domestic or wild; or

(b) keeps or uses or acts in the management of any place to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any such animal; or

(c) being the owner or occupier of any place, permits or suffers it to be so used, is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.”

For more details on the Bill see here: https://bit.ly/2ySbu3A

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