Breaking! New Bill Aims To Increase Maximum Sentence For Animal Abusers In England & Wales From 6 Months To 5 Years

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A new bill to enable tougher prison sentences for the worst animal abusers in England and Wales was introduced to Parliament today.

As per the UK government, The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill means that animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months.

This will make it one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.

The Bill follows a public consultation last year, in which more than 70% of people supported tougher prison sentences. The passage of this legislation would allow the courts to be able to take a tougher approach to cases, such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.

“These increased maximum sentences will serve as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect in the future,” Animal Welfare Minister, David Rutley, said in a statement. “This step builds on recent positive action we have taken to protect animals, including plans to ban third party puppy and kitten sales and banning the use of wild animals in circuses.”

According to the RSPCA, last year the organization received a staggering 1,175,193 calls to their 24-hour cruelty hotline in 2018 with a call every 27 seconds. That does not even include the countless cases that went unreported. It is as tragic as it is unconscionable!

“This reform is long overdue. Those responsible for extreme cruelty towards animals or those criminal gangs involved in organized animal crime will now face the tough justice they deserve,” stated Chief Executive for the RSPCA Chris Sherwood. “We need to better protect our animals and the RSPCA hopes that this new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will give courts the powers they need to punish those responsible for the most unimaginable cruelty to animals.”

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will be introduced into the House of Commons, before moving through to the House of Lords. If passed, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent.

The government also pointed out that there have also been a number of cases in the last few years in which the courts stated that they would have handed down longer sentences had they been available.

While five years is unquestionably a more appropriate sentence than the current maximum of six months, it is not enough. Courts should be able to penalize the “worst animal abusers” based on the extent of the crime committed.

There are strong consequences for people who hurt or kill other humans; the same should apply to people who abuse animals. The sentence should reflect the severity of the abuse that was inflicted on an innocent sentient being.

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