I’m pleased to lend my support to Battersea’s campaign to increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty. I’m also the main sponsor of an Early Day Motion on the issue, which you can see here.
Courts in England & Wales can impose a maximum sentence of only six months in prison and an unlimited fine for even the most serious animal cruelty offences.
A new Bill has been introduced to allow sentences of up to five years for animal cruelty offences – as is currently the case in Northern Ireland and may soon be in Scotland. This would allow the courts to treat the most shocking acts of animal cruelty much more seriously.
Battersea, who have been campaigning for this since 2017, see shocking cases of animal cruelty.
April, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was brought into Battersea late at night after a police officer found her alone on a freezing London street. She had an infected wound on her muzzle where her mouth had clearly been taped or wired shut. Following months of surgeries, April made a full recovery and eventually found a loving home. Unfortunately, not all dogs and cats are as lucky as April.
It’s critically important that we change the law to better protect animals in the future. The current maximum penalty is neither a punishment nor a deterrent to offenders and this change is long overdue. I’m pleased to support this Bill and Battersea’s campaign.