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Tougher prison sentences for animal abusers in new law

Credit: PA Images

Prison sentences for the worst animal abusers will be toughened up with a new law.

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will be introduced in the UK Parliament today.

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths will now put forward a Legislative Consent Motion for those aspects of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill which apply to Wales.

The new bill will mean that animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months.

The harshest sentences will be for cruelty including dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.

1.2m
calls received by the RSPCA cruelty hotline in 2018

The way we treat animals is an important reflection of the values of our society.

Maintaining a comparative sentencing regime across England and Wales is important to ensure clarity for enforcement agencies, the Courts and the public alike.

That is why we have agreed to the UK Parliament legislating by Act for England and Wales and an increase to five years imprisonment be introduced. This will send a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

– The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM

The UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP said the Bill will bring in the toughest punishment in Europe for animal cruelty crimes.