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SPCA congratulates government for taking animal welfare seriously

Friday, 2 July, 2010

National CEO of SPCA New Zealand, Robyn Kippenberger, says that SPCAs throughout the country applaud the Government for passing the Animal Welfare Amendment Act, which will see increased penalties for the neglect and ill-treatment of animals.

“How we care for our animals is a reflection on our society as a whole and it is important that we take action when they are ill-treated in any way. Recently, we have had to deal with some shocking examples of animal cruelty and neglect and the penalties have not fitted the serious nature of the offences committed.

“The significant rise in penalties, provided by the Act, will give our courts a clear mandate when sentencing and send out the message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

“Significantly the PAW JUSTICE group, which last year initiated a petition calling for harsher penalties for animal cruelty, collected more than 70,000 signatures in less than 6 months, proving that the nation agrees with the direction of this new legislation,” she adds.

Ms Kippenberger has also acknowledged the work of Simon Bridges M.P, who after being told about the issue, further investigated, realised there was a major problem and took action.

“The country owes a debt of gratitude to Mr Bridges, who prepared a private member’s bill and started the ball rolling. We would also like to thank the government and the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. David Carter, who also recognised the importance of this issue and progressed the bill into the house.

“The unanimous passing of the bill is heartening, as it is a reflection of the will of New Zealanders, who want to see our animals cared for in the right way.

“Our animal welfare law is now one of the strongest internationally, as is totally appropriate for a country largely reliant on primary production and, therefore, on its reputation for the humane treatment of animals.

“Animal welfare organisations worldwide will acknowledge this as a huge step forward for animals,” says Robyn Kippenberger.