A number of bills have recently been submitted to Queensland Parliament relating to the treatment of animals with the introduction of amendments to create a new offence of serious animal cruelty under the Criminal Code.

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Anyone convicted of this offence will be automatically banned from owning animals of the same type for a minimum of two years and face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.

Further amendments under the Animal Care and Protection Act, would allow the courts to impose interim bans during legal proceedings, increase the maximum jail sentence to three years and increase the maximum fine to $200,000.

The laws were introduced over concerns from RSPCA where people being investigated for animal cruelty were still allowed to keep animals in their care.

It is expected that the legislation will become law before the end of 2011.

The State Government will also examine whether amendments need to be made to the Queensland Criminal Code for owners of dangerous dogs who do not take reasonable steps to stop their dogs injuring or killing people or animals.

Local Governments, the RSPCA, breeders and other interested parties were consulted on the proposed changes and the Government is currently reviewing these responses.