You read that right my friends. Dogs are now officially recognised in the ACT as “sentient beings” who are able to feel and perceive.
According to the new bill, “animals have intrinsic value and deserve to be treated with compassion”. The bill asserts that “people have a duty to care for the physical and mental welfare of animals”.
These new laws are the first of their kind in Australia, and spell a huge shift for animal welfare. With harsher penalties for animal cruelty also coming into effect, this is sure one hell of a change for animal rights.
Under the new law, it’s ruled that dogs must be exercised at least once a day. Dogs who are restrained without exercise for more than 24 hours either need to be exercised for minimum two hours. If you don’t comply, owners will have to pay a $4,000 fine. These new legal changes have cemented the feelings of animals into official law.
Also, just fyi, if you’re driving through Canberra and like having fido sit up front, time to invest in a doggy seatbelt. Having an animal unrestrained in a moving vehicle will be punishable by fines up to $16,000, a year in prison, or both.
I guess we’re not crazy for talking to our pets after all.
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