Queen Elizabeth Signs New Law Increasing Animal Cruelty Sentences In England & Wales From 6 Months To 5 Years In Prison

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 was signed into law yesterday by  Queen Elizabeth, increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty in England and Wales from six months to up to five years in prison. The amended legislation also aims to deter would-be animal abusers from committing acts of cruelty.

As previously reported by WAN in June of 2019, when the Bill was brought forward by Member of Parliament Chris Loder, more than 70% of people supported tougher prison sentences for animal abusers.

Loder shared in a statement on his website that he was inspired to create change by introducing the Bill after finding a Springer Spaniel cruelly abandoned at the roadside before bringing her home to his family farm in West Dorest.

In a message posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Loder noted that the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act had just completed all Parliamentary stages in both Houses. It was subsequently taken to Her Majesty the Queen for Royal Assent.

“Just ONE DAY away from this important change in law for animals! #AnimalsDeserveJustice,” Loder tweeted yesterday, referring to the Bill which is now law and is expected to come into force in June of this year.

The RSPCA, one of the supporters of the Bill, secured 4,103 convictions in the courts in England and Wales over the last three years, and 156 individuals received immediate prison sentences.

“Since the Bill was introduced, animals have been starved, shot, stabbed, beaten to death and drowned,” stated RSPCA Chief Executive, Chris Sherwood. “At least now, in those cases that leave us heartbroken, our courts will be able to hand out sentences that truly reflect the severity of the crimes.”

Loder emphasized that there is more work to be done to help protect and save not only companion animals such as dogs, cats, and horses, but all animals.

I will continue to work hard for animals, and I will continue campaigning on non-stun slaughter and live animal exports,” stated Loder, who also serves as a Patron for The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, which campaigns to help end the suffering of billions of animals reared on intensive slaughter farms. The organization also helped to support the Bill.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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