NSW Question about powers of the RSPCA in preventing convicted offenders from owning animals.

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Well-Known Member
15 December 2023
I have a question that I cannot find the answer to.
I was charged with an animal cruelty offence by the RSPCA NSW and issued a CAN due to 'forgetting' my dog in my car with windows open only a mm at least and apparently no food or water in sight.
Their charge sheet lists the offence, evidence/photos, etc and what they would like is the court to order which may include a fine, prison term (I highly doubt that would occur even if I plead guilty) and a ban on owning any animal for a period of 5 years, and never to be able to work in a business with animals.

I am very strictly sticking to my not guilty plea and will be spending my life savings and superannuation on paying for top private solicitors (due to for example, having approval to travel with my dog, having food and water available, having windows open and also it being a cold winter day so over heating seems impossible and also searching the Web, there's literally no law in nsw making travelling with pets in the car illegal).

Anyway my question is: even if I plead Guilty and they impose the penalty of not owning any animal for 5 years, what does the definition of 'animal' actually mean legally.
It seems generally or scientifically/ethically that 'animal' does not include invertebrates yet there are many invertebrate pets, so would I be able to own stick insects, scorpions or tarantulas, or even a 'sea monkeys kit'? (This is a serious question).

What if my house is searched and they find fish tanks with insects and aquariums or sea monkeys and other crustacea would I get in trouble? I have a marine aquarium with live coral and reef which are living organisms, would this count?

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
....what does the definition of 'animal' actually mean legally.
Well, for starters, there's this.
And if you already have a lawyer, then our only advice is to take their advice.