OPINION: Make dog-baiting a 10-year sentence
I'M NOT one to have knee jerk reactions.
I'm not one to call for death penalties for murderers (let's face it, killing someone to avenge a killing, it really makes no sense - longer prison sentences, on the other hand...).
I'm not one for throwing around punishments as if they're the answer to all of life's woes when a lot of the time there are bigger things at play.
But I've been thinking a lot about the practice of dog baiting and just how common it has become.
Across the country, state, and locally, we've run story after story about dogs who have met horrific deaths at the hands of some seriously deadly chemicals.
Should dog baiting carry a mandatory 10-year sentence?
This poll ended on 11 June 2016.
No - the current one year sentence is enough
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
These deaths are not pretty, and cause not only brutal suffering for the pet, but also heartache for the owners.
I have friends in Bundaberg who have had their dogs baited.
Hearing the panic in their voices and knowing how sad they are is just gut wrenching.
Even worse, a lot of these people own their homes so are either forced to not have their pets, have pets and risk more horrific death, or pack up their homes and sell up at a cost to themselves.
The money it costs to save the pets who do survive is another crippling cost.
What if kids got the baits first?
Dog baiters are scum.
These are selfish people with little regard for anyone else and the pain they inflict on others.
According to law, anyone caught baiting a dog faces a maximum fine of $35,340 or one year in prison.
It's hard enough to catch people in the act.
But it seems that if someone is caught, a year isn't enough to deter anyone.
I believe a mandatory 10-year prison sentence could be more of a deterrent.
It's time we took a stronger approach.
Unfortunately, at a cost to owners, having outdoor cameras is something all pet owners should consider as a part of the cost of having a pet - it shouldn't have to be that way, but often cameras are the only thing that will identify dog baiters.
The second would be a standard 10-year sentence.