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Killing or Seriously Injuring Law Enforcement Animals

Killing or Seriously Injuring Law Enforcement Animals is an offence under Section 531 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You killed or seriously injured an animal
  2. The animal was a law enforcement animal, and
  3. You knew the animal was being used by a law enforcement officer

In the execution of the officer’s duties, or your conduct was a consequence of, or in retaliation for, the use of the animal by a law enforcement officer in the execution of the officer’s duties.

An ‘animal’ is a dog, horse or other mammal (other than a human being).

A ‘law enforcement officer’ is:

  1. A police officer of the Commonwealth, or any state or territory, or
  2. Any other official authorised to use an animal in connection with the detention of persons or enforcement of laws

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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