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Killing or Seriously Injuring Law Enforcement Animals is an offence under Section 531 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You killed or seriously injured an animal
- The animal was a law enforcement animal, and
- You knew the animal was being used by a law enforcement officer
In the execution of the officer’s duties, or your conduct was a consequence of, or in retaliation for, the use of the animal by a law enforcement officer in the execution of the officer’s duties.
An ‘animal’ is a dog, horse or other mammal (other than a human being).
A ‘law enforcement officer’ is:
- A police officer of the Commonwealth, or any state or territory, or
- Any other official authorised to use an animal in connection with the detention of persons or enforcement of laws
Defences to the charge include: