MEDIA RELEASE: 24th APRIL 2020
EMMA HURST MLC SLAMS SUPREME COURT DECISION TO OVERTURN CONVICTION OF 'SICKENING ACT' OF ANIMAL CRUELTY IN CAMPBELLTOWN
Yesterday evening it was reported that Daniel Brighton – the owner of a mobile petting zoo that includes koalas, macaques, exotic birds, crocodiles and many other species – who was previously given the longest custodial sentence (3 years and 4 months) on record for a RSPCA NSW prosecution, has had his convictions overturned on appeal.
Mr Brighton stabbed a dog with a pitchfork six times, hung her from a tree alive with the pitchfork still in her body, and then, some time later, beat her with a mallet eight times to finish killing her. A witness said he was “laughing and joking” during the attack.
“If impaling a dog to a tree with a pitchfork is not a crime in New South Wales – then we need to urgently review our Crimes Act,” said Ms Hurst.
"This was a sickening act of animal cruelty. The courts have failed to protect animals. Our weak laws in NSW allow for lenient sentences and little to no punishment for acts of abuse and violence. The community will not stand for this.
“Extensive research has shown a strong link between animal and human abuse, suggesting perpetrators commonly recommit acts of violence against humans and animals in the future.
“Anyone who beats and impales a dog is a risk to the community and to other animals. This man should not walk free in the community.
“The Netflix docuseries the Tiger King showed what violent people can do to both humans and animals. Have we just let our own notorious petting zoo owner walk free and continue to keep animals and use them for profit in Australia?
“This man stabbed, beat and impaled a dog to a tree – and he owns a business where he is in charge of multiple animals and their ongoing welfare. He is also allowed to interact with children every day in his work. Most individuals convicted of animal cruelty are still able to pass a Working With Children Check. We are calling for anyone found guilty of animal abuse to be denied and/or lose their WWCC.
“People who are violent are violent. If we continue to allow people charged with animal cruelty to get away with it, then we accept violence in our society. Australians hate animal cruelty, and we need to have a no tolerance stance against those that intentionally hurt animals," said Ms Hurst.
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