New Report Reveals How Animal Cruelty Offenders Are Sentenced in Victoria

Date of Publication
19 February 2019

The Council has today released the first ever review of how animal cruelty offences are sentenced in Victoria.

In the 10 years from 2008 to 2017, nearly 3,000 animal cruelty offences were sentenced in 1,115 cases in Victoria:

  • three-quarters of animal cruelty offenders were male
  • most animal cruelty cases were prosecuted by RSPCA Victoria.

The report reveals that most sentenced animal cruelty offending involves neglect behaviours, such as failing to provide food, water, shelter or veterinary treatment to an animal, rather than deliberate cruelty.

In total, 60% of animal cruelty offences received a fine at an average value of $1,355. Just 8% of animal cruelty offenders received a term of imprisonment, the average duration of which was 3 months.

15% of animal cruelty cases in 2016 and 2017 occurred in the context of family violence. Those offenders were four times more likely than other animal cruelty offenders to be sent to prison.

The report, Animal Cruelty Offences in Victoria, and a two-page factsheet summarising key findings are available to download from our website.