NSW weak on animal cruelty

A GROUP of residents who alerted the RSPCA about a Rosebank man allegedly mistreating his horses will pro- test outside the Lismore Courthouse on Monday about the state's inadequate animal cruelty laws.

The Northern Star reported in December the RSPCA was receiving complaints from concerned Northern Rivers residents about a stallion from a Rosebank property being the victim of animal cruelty. The concerned people alleged the stallion was frequently left tied to a tree on an unfenced property.

At the time, the RSPCA confirmed it had received and looked into a number of complaints made against the horse owner.

The owner has since been charged with one offence under animal cruelty law and will appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday.

RSPCA chief inspector David O'Shannessy would not outline the exact charge and it was not clear whether it was related to the stallion.

He said yesterday there had been an investigation into "other matters", but at this point there was no ongoing investigation.

A spokeswoman from a group called East Coast Horse Rescue, which was involved in alerting the RSPCA about the alleged cruelty to the horse, said a group of people were planning to protest outside Lismore Courthouse on Monday to raise awareness about what they say are the inadequacies of current animal cruelty legislation in NSW.

"We are a group of people that have been concerned for the safety and welfare of these horses for the past year-and-a-half, which has resulted in various reports to the RSPCA," the spokes-woman said.

"What we are saying to the government, RSPCA and the court is it is not good enough. We want change.

"It is not good enough that animal abusers can get away with these repulsive acts of cruelty and the current protection of animal laws are not good enough for the protection of animals.

"(The law) is not very spe- cific and loose, which makes it easy for offenders to become repeat offenders."

The spokeswoman extended an invitation to anyone who felt passionate about the cause to join the "peaceful and respectful" protest at 9am on Monday, when the Rosebank man will appear in court.

"If you are someone that is wanting to see change, we are asking you to come and support this," she said.

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