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Animal abuse must not go unrecognised

1 December 2011

Animal abuse must not go unrecognised

Veterinarians throughout New Zealand were appalled to hear of the sadistic treatment of 23 seals that were not only savagely bashed, but left maimed and in pain to die slow, agonising deaths.

Gavin Sinclair, President of the NZ Veterinary Association (NZVA), said there was general approval within the profession that the courts initially recognised the savagery and cruelty of this behaviour and therefore the jail sentence was seen as appropriate and timely.

“Indeed we harboured hope that this would be the first of many tough sentences for people who are cruel to animals,” he said.

“The courts have been remarkably lenient with their sentencing for animal welfare abuse for many years, and veterinarians applauded Parliament’s recognition that it is unacceptable and wrong when it last year increased the maximum penalties for this crime.

“So we are all saddened and distressed that the Court of Appeal has seen fit to quash the jail sentence and allow the accused to return to the comfort of his home to serve out a minimal sentence,” Gavin Sinclair said.


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