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Leave your dog in the car and you will go to prison and be fined up to $266,000 under proposed laws

Queenslanders who leave a dog in a hot car will face jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in fines under changes to the law.

The state government wants people to be charged with animal cruelty in cases where they are harmed or with breaching their duty of care even in cases where no heat stress was suffered.

Proposed amendments to existing laws would make it clearer that putting a dog in a car that could get too hot is an offence, and make it easier to prosecute individuals who ignore warnings, Agricultural Industry Development Minister Mark Furner says.

“Everyone should be at their best in recognising what the welfare of an animal is, particularly in a car that’s locked up, or with the window partially down,” he said.

“(It) can result in extreme conditions for that animal in a short period of time.”

An amendment to the existing duty of care will explicitly mention how handling an animal includes confining or transporting it in a car.

Breaching that duty of care would carry a maximum fine of $40,035 and a year behind bars.

The amended animal cruelty offence will clarify that a person is guilty if an animal is confined in a car and suffers heat stress or pain, with a maximum $266,900 fine or up to three years in jail.

Which offence a person may be charged with depends on the circumstances, and animal cruelty may be preferred if there is evidence of heat stress or other pain for the animal.

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