This 1879 newspaper account of the prosecution of two boys for setting fire to a dog mentions the higher penalties that had recently come into force under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1878. Before, under the English legislation which applied in most parts of the colony, the maximum penalty for an offence was £5 or two months in prison. This was revised to £20 or six months imprisonment. However, the magistrate stopped well short of the maximum penalty in this case because of the young age of the offenders.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Press, 3 July 1879, p. 3
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