Today, we are pleased to hear that the Government has introduced a new bill that will enable tougher prison sentences for the worst animal abusers.
The Animal Welfare Sentencing Bill will increase the maximum sentence for those found guilty of animal abuse from 6 months to 5 years in prison. A victory for animals everywhere!
At IFAW, we have been campaigning on this issue for a number of years. Far too often we saw numerous cases of appalling animal abuse result in disappointingly light sentences. As a nation of animal lovers, it seemed incredibly unfair that we couldn’t provide animals with the level of protection they deserved. So, we are grateful that today the Government has sought to right this wrong with the introduction of this new bill.
The increase in sentencing is also a vital part of the Finn’s Law campaign. Finn’s assailant would have only faced a maximum sentence of 6 months for the horrific attack which left Finn fighting for his life. However, this new bill will ensure that those who commit such acts of violence towards service animals, or any animals, will face far tougher punishments in the future and act as a real deterrent.
IFAW’s David Cowdrey visited Number 10 Downing Street earlier this week, alongside other leading figures from the animal welfare sector, to meet with advisers to the Prime Minister and discuss the proposed change in law. We are delighted to see the bill brought forward so quickly and thank the Environment Secretary Michael Gove for his continued commitment to protecting animals in the UK.
With the recent passing of Finn’s Law, the ending of third party puppy sales and now the prospect of tougher sentencing, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year in the history of animal welfare. We would like to thank all of our supporters for their hard work in raising these issues.
We will now be working closely with parliamentarians to ensure the bill is passed quickly through Parliament and into law so we can start providing animals across England and Wales with the protections they so rightly deserve.