Newfoundland and Labrador has adopted stiffer fines and penalties for animal abuse.

A new Animal Health and Protection Act was proclaimed in the house of assembly Wednesday.

Anyone convicted of animal cruelty or neglect can now face fines of up to $50,000 or six-months jail time.

Other possible penalties include a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Pet stores and farms are also covered under the new act.

The province also now has the power to appoint inspectors to respond to reports of animal neglect or cruelty.

According to a news release, the province will provide $50,000 to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help it develop an education campaign to promote proper care and treatment of animals.

"The SPCA is very pleased to see significant improvements in the province’s animal protection laws," said Lynn Cadigan, executive director of SPCA Newfoundland and Labrador, in the release.