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Big fines for owners of penguin-attacking dogs

Littlepenguin

Owners of dogs which attack sensitive wildlife are set for a huge hit to their pockets, after new laws passed the Legislative Council. 

It comes after more than 170 little penguins were killed in dog maulings this year alone, include one particular incident in Wynyard in which around 40 were found dead in August.

The new rules could see pets destroyed and fines of up to $5040 handed out, as well as other damage costs. 

The penalty for taking a dog into a prohibited area containing sensitive habitat for native wildlife will also increase to $3360. 

"The amendments that have now passed through Parliament specifically target irresponsible dog owners and provide for stronger penalties that send a clear message: if your dog injures or kills sensitive wildlife like little penguins, then there will be serious consequences," Local Government Minister Mark Shelton said. 

"This crucial step towards protecting little penguin rookeries enables the Tasmanian Government to ensure that new penalty provisions are in place ahead of the peak summer breeding season."

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