Section 530 Crimes Act 1900 | Serious Animal Cruelty


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Being accused of serious animal cruelty can have a devastating impact on your life, affecting your reputation and relationships with family and friends.

However, when it comes to fighting the charges, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with what the law says, as well as the possible penalties that may apply.

Section 530 of the Crimes Act contains the offence of ‘serious animal cruelty.’

It says that you may be charged with this offence if it is alleged that you tortured, beat or committed some other serious act of cruelty on an animal, and, as a result, killed, seriously injured or caused prolonged suffering to the animal.

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must also prove that you committed the acts with the intention of inflicting severe pain upon the animal.

An animal under this section refers to a mammal, bird or reptile.

There is, however, a defence under the law where you are able to prove that you committed the acts in question in accordance with authority conferred by or under the Animal Research Act 1985 or some other law.

You may also be able to raise a defence where your actions were done as a part of routine agricultural or animal husbandry activities, recognised religious practices, the extermination of pest animals, or as a part of veterinary practice.

The maximum penalty, if found guilty of this offence, is 5 years imprisonment.

While this penalty may seem heavy, it’s important to remember that it is the absolute maximum that can be imposed.

With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can fight the charges to avoid a heavy penalty.

Our lawyers have represented clients in numerous animal cruelty cases and can assist you in understanding the charges, obtaining favourable evidence, and fighting the matter in court.

The Legislation

530 Serious animal cruelty

(1) A person who, with the intention of inflicting severe pain:

(a) tortures, beats or commits any other serious act of cruelty on an animal, and

(b) kills or seriously injures or causes prolonged suffering to the animal,

is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against this section if:

(a) the conduct occurred in accordance with an authority conferred by or under the Animal Research Act 1985 or any other Act or law, or

(b) the conduct occurred in the course of or for the purposes of routine agricultural or animal husbandry activities, recognised religious practices, the extermination of pest animals or veterinary practice.

(3) In this section:”animal” means a mammal (other than a human being), a bird or a reptile.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being accused of committing serious animal cruelty can be a difficult experience.

Thankfully, with Sydney’s best criminal lawyers on your side, you can give yourself the best chance when it comes to fighting and winning your case.

Our lawyers are vastly experienced in animal cruelty cases, and have the expert knowledge necessary to advise you of the best options when it comes to securing a positive outcome in your case.

In every case, our skilled lawyers will take the time to carefully examine all the evidence in order to identify deficiencies in the prosecution case.

Where problems are found, we can write compelling letters to the prosecution requesting that they drop the charges.

And if your matter progresses to court, rest assured that our fearless advocates will fight hard to win your case so that you can get on with your life as quickly as possible.

We are able to consistently obtain outstanding results in animal cruelty cases thanks to the efforts of our experienced criminal lawyers, who are able to present evidence in a compelling manner.

Our lawyers can also assist you if you wish to plead guilty, by presenting persuasive sentencing submissions which emphasise the need for a lenient penalty.

Our ability to obtain lenient sentences in even the most serious criminal cases is unmatched by any other law firm.

So for the best defence in your ‘serious animal cruelty’ case, contact our experts on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment
with our lawyers today.