Tougher sentencing

Increase the maximum sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years.

The clock is ticking to get the Bill passed

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2020 was published in January 2020, and we were delighted when the Second Reading of the Bill was successful on 23 October.

We're thrilled to see the progress of the Bill develop, and welcome the great news that the Bill has now completed the next stage (Committee). We're a step closer to getting tougher sentences for cases of animal cruelty but there's still a way to go. The Bill still has to get through the House of Lords and we're concerned time is running out.

Take action and we'll keep you updated as the Bill continues its journey through UK Parliament.

The Bill previously failed in 2019

In 2019, over 11,000 of our supporters emailed their MP urging them to support tougher sentencing for animal cruelty - but the Bill put forward in 2019 ran out of time to pass through the UK Parliament.

Act for tougher sentencing laws in 2021

While we wait for the Bill to complete all its stages, we need to act now to make sure the Bill becomes law before the next Queen's Speech. The clock is now ticking to get justice for animals.

Making sure Wales applies the same law

We're still hard at work to ensure that this time the Bill becomes law in England and working closely with decision-makers in Wales to ensure it applies there too.

We understand the Welsh Government plans to bring forward a consent motion which - if backed by Members of the Senedd - will mean the new law applies in both England and Wales, which is great news!

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill

After years of campaigning and with help from our supporters, Defra put forward an Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in Summer 2019 - to increase the maximum sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years in England. This followed on from a public consultation the previous year, in which more than 70% of people supported proposals for tougher prison sentences.

When a Bill is passed it will mean courts are able to take a tougher approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2020 contains the same measures and will give England one of the toughest sanctions for animal abuse in Europe, strengthening our position in animal welfare as a global leader.

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