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Section 4 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979

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Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (NSW) is the offence of ‘definitions’ and is extracted below.

For outstanding representation against allegations of animal cruelty, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let one of our experienced criminal lawyers help you.

The Legislation

4 Definitions

(1) In this Act, except in so far as the context or subject-matter otherwise indicates or requires

“animal” means–
(a) a member of a vertebrate species including any–
(i) amphibian, or
(ii) bird, or
(iii) fish, or
(iv) mammal (other than a human being), or
(v) reptile, or
(b) a crustacean but only when at a building or place (such as a restaurant) where food is prepared or offered for consumption by retail sale in the building or place.

“animal cruelty offence” means–
(a) an offence under this Act in relation to an animal, or
(b) an offence against section 79, 80, 530 or 531 of the Crimes Act 1900 .

“animal trade” means a trade, business or profession in the course of which any animal is kept or used for a purpose prescribed for the purposes of this definition.

“approved charitable organisation” means a charitable organisation for the time being approved by the Minister in accordance with section 34B.

“authorise” includes direct and permit.

“bull” includes ox, bullock, steer, cow, heifer and calf.

“bull-fight” includes any exhibition, spectacle or display (whether or not conducted for the purpose of gain) in which a person–
(a) commits an act of cruelty upon a bull,
(b) teases a bull, or does any other thing in relation to a bull, in a manner that is likely to cause the bull to fight or to suffer pain or injury, or
(c) attempts to do any of the things mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b),
whether or not for the purpose of causing the bull to fight.

“cage” includes a pit, pen, kennel, hutch and any other similar receptacle.

“cat” means an animal which is a member of the family Felidae.

“charitable organisation” means–
(a) the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, New South Wales, and
(b) any other organisation or association which has as one of its objects the promotion of the welfare of, or the prevention of cruelty to, animals, or any class of animals, and which is a non-profit organisation having as one of its objects a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.

“confine” , in relation to an animal, includes–
(a) keep the animal in captivity by means of a cage or by any other means,
(b) pinion, mutilate or maim the animal for the purpose of hindering, impeding or preventing the freedom of movement of the animal,
(c) subject the animal to a device or contrivance for the purpose of hindering, impeding or preventing the freedom of movement of the animal, and
(d) tether the animal by means of a rope, chain or cord or by any other means.

“Department” means Regional NSW.

“dog” includes a bitch and a puppy.

“domestic animal” means an animal which is tame or which has been, or is being, sufficiently tamed to serve some purpose for the use of human beings, or which, although it neither has been nor is being nor is intended to be so tamed, is or has become in fact wholly or partly tame.

“function” includes a power, authority or duty, and
“exercise” a function includes perform a duty.

“horse” includes a stallion, gelding, mare, colt, filly, foal, pony, mule, donkey, ass and jenny.

“officer” means–
(a) a member of the police force or an inspector within the meaning of the Animal Research Act 1985 ,
(b) an officer of an approved charitable organisation who is appointed by the Minister as an officer for the purposes of this Act,
(b1) an inspector within the meaning of the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 , or
(c) a Public Service employee who is appointed by the Minister, or by a person employed in the Department authorised by the Minister, as an officer for the purposes of this Act.

“owner” includes a joint owner.

“pain” includes suffering and distress.

“person in charge” , in relation to an animal, includes–
(a) the owner of the animal,
(b) a person who has the animal in the person’s possession or custody, or under the person’s care, control or supervision,
(c) where a person referred to in paragraph (b) is bound to comply with the directions, in respect of the animal, of any servant or agent of the owner of the animal, that servant or agent, as the case may be, and
(d) where the animal, being a stock animal, is confined in a sale-yard–
(i) the owner of the sale-yard, or
(ii) where the sale-yard is the subject of a lease, the lessee of the sale-yard.

“pinion” , in relation to an animal, means cut off the pinion of a wing of a bird or otherwise disable the wing or wings of a bird.

“premises” means any place which is not a public place.

“public place” means any place, including any road, to which the public has its own right to resort.

“regulation” means a regulation made under this Act.

“sale-yard” means any premises or public place used or established for use wholly or partly for the sale of stock animals.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department.

“stock animal” means an animal which belongs to the class of animals comprising cattle, horses, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, poultry and any other species of animal prescribed for the purposes of this definition.

“veterinary practitioner” has the same meaning as in the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 .

“veterinary treatment” , in relation to an animal, means–
(a) medical treatment of a prophylactic or therapeutic nature carried out upon the animal by, or in accordance with directions given in respect of the animal by, a veterinary practitioner, or
(b) surgical treatment of a prophylactic or therapeutic nature, or sterilisation, carried out upon the animal by a veterinary practitioner, or
(c) a veterinary diagnostic procedure carried out on the animal by a veterinary practitioner, or
(d) a veterinary consultation undertaken in respect of the animal by a veterinary practitioner.
Note : The Interpretation Act 1987 contains definitions and other provisions that affect the interpretation and application of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a reference to an act of cruelty committed upon an animal includes a reference to any act or omission as a consequence of which the animal is unreasonably, unnecessarily or unjustifiably–
(a) beaten, kicked, killed, wounded, pinioned, mutilated, maimed, abused, tormented, tortured, terrified or infuriated,
(b) over-loaded, over-worked, over-driven, over-ridden or over-used,
(c) exposed to excessive heat or excessive cold, or
(d) inflicted with pain.
(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2) (a), the pinioning of a bird is not an act of cruelty if it is carried out in the manner prescribed by the regulations.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person commits an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal if the person commits an act of cruelty upon the animal or (being the person in charge of the animal) contravenes section 5 (3) in a way which results in–
(a) the death, deformity or serious disablement of the animal, or
(b) the animal being so severely injured, so diseased or in such a physical condition that it is cruel to keep it alive.

(4) Notes included in this Act do not form part of this Act.

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    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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