Tomorrow marks a momentous day in the history of animal welfare as England and Wales introduce Finn’s Law!
From June 8, it will finally be a criminal offence to injure the brave police dogs and horses that provide vital support to our law enforcement officers.
After police dog Finn was attacked with a knife in 2016, his handler PC Dave Wardell worked tirelessly to ensure service animals were given the protection they deserve and provide a stronger deterrent against similar offences. Over the past few years, IFAW has been extremely proud to support Finn and Dave’s successful campaign to pass Finn’s Law.
Finn and Dave even joined IFAW at our recent 50th Anniversary celebration at the Houses of Parliament, meeting many of the MPs that supported the Bill (and who happily posed for pictures with Finn) as well as our very own President & CEO Azzedine Downes.
You can read more about Finn and Dave’s story, their campaign and IFAW’s involvement here.
Although tomorrow will be a great victory for service animals and their handlers across England and Wales, our work is not done.
Currently, Finn’s Law does not apply in either Scotland or Northern Ireland where it is needed.
In Scotland, IFAW has been supporting efforts championed by Liam Kerr MSP to help introduce Finn’s Law. The Scottish Government recently held a consultation on improving animal welfare, including specific references to service animals, which IFAW has submitted evidence towards. We are currently waiting for the Government’s official response to the consultation and will be working closely with members of the Scottish Parliament to promote this important law change.
In Northern Ireland, Finn’s Law campaigners have launched a petition calling on the government to introduce similar protections there. IFAW is currently supporting these efforts, which you can find out more about (and support) here.
On behalf of everyone at IFAW, we want to send a massive congratulations to Dave and Finn for all their hard work, as well as a big thank you to Sir Oliver Heald MP and all the other MPs and Peers who helped make Finn’s Law a reality!
-- David Cowdrey