Plans which will mean animal abusers could face up to five years in prison move a step closer.
The Government is backing legislation for tougher prison times for those who cruelly mistreat animals, as plans to introduce more stringent sentences move a step closer today (Friday 23 October).
The Bill, introduced in Parliament by Chris Loder MP in February, will see the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty face up to five years in prison, up from the current maximum of six months. Today, the Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons, backed by the Government.
These tougher prison sentences would be among the toughest sanctions for animal abuse in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.
The Bill follows a public consultation in 2017, in which more than 70% of people supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences for those guilty of animal cruelty offences. This could include dog fighting, cruelty towards domestic pets or gross neglect of farm animals.
Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset, said:
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said:
The Second Reading of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill is due to conclude on 23 October. The Bill will then go to Committee Stage, with Report Stage and Third Reading following this, before transferring to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
You can track the progress of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill and read debates on all stages of the Bill’s passage on the Parliament website.