Individuals who commit offences against animals will face fines of up to £5,000 under new legislation introduced to Parliament today.
The fines will be introduced to ensure that offenders face tougher penalties for crimes in addition to the existing maximum five year prison sentence for the most serious offences.
The Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Andrew Rosindell MP and which is backed by the Government, will create a system of a financial penalties of up to £5,000 for animal health and welfare offences. The penalties, which could include on-the-spot fines, can be issued to individuals who have cruelly mistreated pets, zoo animals and livestock.
These new penalties will provide the authorities with an additional enforcement measure to be used alongside warnings and criminal prosecution. These penalties will introduce a more consistent and targeted approach to protecting all animals from harm.
The UK has a long history of tackling animal cruelty. The new fines will act as a key deterrent to would be animal abusers in addition to the new five year maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty, which was introduced by the Government through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill earlier this year.
Introducing the Bill, Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford said:
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said:
The Bill will complement plans to introduce greater protections for animals as outlined the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which builds on Britain’s existing world leading standards by committing to a range of new game changing welfare measures to protect pets, livestock and wild animals.