05/04/2012 07:35 EDT | Updated 07/04/2012 05:12 EDT

SPCA applauds new animal abuse law in Newfoundland that allows for bigger fines

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The SPCA in Newfoundland and Labrador says it's pleased with a new law that allows for stiffer penalties for those convicted of animal abuse or neglect.

The association's president, Lynn Cadigan, says the Animal Health and Protection Act is a step forward.

The act was proclaimed earlier this week.

The legislation calls for fines up to $50,000 for those who abuse or neglect animals.

Under the old law, the fine for a first or second offence was only $200, rising to $500 for subsequent offences.