An­i­mal abuse on the in­crease

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

A hard-line approach to an­i­mal abuse has seen more cases re­ported to po­lice in the past year.

Ac­cord­ing to Auck­land dis­trict crime sta­tis­tics re­leased on Tues­day, 14 an­i­mal abuse cases were re­ported in 2007, com­pared to six cases the year be­fore.

Auck­land SPCA chief ex­ec­u­tive Bob Ker­ridge says the rise is due to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s harder approach to abusers.

“In the past 12 months we’ve adopted a zero tol­er­ance approach. Whereas be­fore we might have is­sued warn­ings, we are now tend­ing to take peo­ple to court.

“It’s not that there’s more abuse go­ing on, al­though there’s cer­tainly not less.”

Pre­vi­ously the fo­cus was on ed­u­cat­ing of­fend­ers in the hope they would stop the abuse.

But Mr Ker­ridge says pros­e­cu­tion helps re­in­force the mes­sage that an­i­mal abuse will not be tol­er­ated.

“Re­port­ing high-profile cases when they oc­cur and when we take them to court cre­ates a much greater aware­ness of what’s go­ing on.”

The most re­cent pros­e­cu­tion saw Ma­nurewa wo­man Mar­tine Genet found guilty on five counts of fail­ing to al­le­vi­ate pain and suf­fer­ing for the five kit­tens in her care.

On March 18 she was sen­tenced to a month in jail and dis­qual­i­fied from own­ing an­i­mals for 10 years.

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