Worst animal cruelty offences to get higher jail terms
People who are found guilty of the worst cases of animal cruelty will face up to five years jail time under new law.
The Act, which passed its final reading yesterday and come into law today after receiving Royal Assent, will increase the maximum sentence for the worst animal cruelty offences from six months to five years in England and Wales.
The harshest sentences would be for dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.
The bill complements the so-called Finn's Law, which provides more protection for service dogs and horses.
Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at The Kennel Club, said: “We are pleased to see that The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act is set to become law and welcome this as a major step forward for dog welfare in this country.
"Animal cruelty is an abhorrent offence and for far too long available sentencing powers have simply not reflected the impact of these despicable crimes.
“The existing six-month maximum sentence is the weakest in Europe, as well as weaker than countries such as the United States and Japan and is simply not good enough for protecting dogs and all animals in this country."
Further information on the lobbying and campaigns that The Kennel Club carries out for dogs and their owners can be found by visiting thekennelclub.org.uk/campaigns.