Coast dog baiters face hefty fines, jail under LNP laws
DOG baiters on the Fraser Coast face lengthy prison terms and hefty fines under law changes proposed by the State Opposition.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington pitched the tougher penalties earlier this week, following a spate of dog deaths in Brisbane parks.
Maryborough animals were also recently targeted, with resident Tracey Spoor's dog dying from poison in July, just days after she received a threatening note.
Brett Sutcliffe's dogs narrowly avoided a similar fate in August, when he found mince laced with poisonous pellets in his yard.
Mr Sutcliffe said he spoke with six other neighbours who had also received the poisoned parcels aimed at their pets in Yaralla and Unity streets.
Currently, baiting an animal carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a $40,035 fine.
Under the LNP proposal, the penalties would align with cruelty offences under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.
This would bring the maximum penalty up to three years in jail or fines up to $266,900.
Ms Frecklington said it was "beyond the pale" that people thought it was acceptable to poison pets.
"It is also deeply troubling that even if we catch the grubs poisoning our dogs that they may only get a slap on the wrist," Ms Frecklington said.
"I won't allow that to happen on my watch and it is why if elected the LNP will triple the penalty for dog baiting."
Hervey Bay Animal Refuge volunteer Melanie Wilks backed the LNP proposal, saying baiting was a "very nasty death".
"I just hope people learn their lesson," she said.
"The problem is, how do you catch and prove it was them, and how do you stop it from happening again?"