Tougher sentencing

Finally, after years of campaigning and help from our supporters, a Bill was announced by Defra following Cabinet approval in June.

The new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the maximum sentence of six months to five years for animal abusers. This followed on from a public consultation last year, in which more than 70 percent of people supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences. It would mean the courts would be able to take a tougher approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.

The Bill would give the UK one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening our position as a global leader on animal welfare.

We want to make sure these measures are introduced and the Bill progresses, giving the clear message that animal cruelty will no longer be tolerated. This follows on from the law passed earlier in June 2019 that gives up to five year sentences for service animals like police dogs.

Suspension of Parliament creates difficulty for tougher sentencing

We're very disappointed that the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill was unable to be completed before the prorogation of Parliament. We very much hope the Bill to increase sentencing for acts of animal cruelty will be prioritised and re-introduced as soon as the next session starts.

We see the most horrendous acts of cruelty inflicted on animals on a daily basis. We've campaigned for a long time to see the current maximum six-month jail term to be significantly increased to five years. The Bill came so close to becoming law - let's not allow this important change to animal cruelty sentencing to slip through our hands.

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