The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will now pass into law

Tougher sentences on the way for animal cruelty

Great news this morning to hear that the Bill is expected to come into force later this year. This means that courts will have the power and flexibility to impose tougher sentences for animal abusers.

RSPCA chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said “This Act is a huge step forward for animal welfare in the UK and we’re delighted that justice will now be served for animals. Tougher sentences will act as a stronger deterrent to potential animal abusers and will help us in our aim to cancel out animal cruelty once and for all.”

“This reform is long overdue – for many years, the most violent and horrific abuse and cruelty received a maximum penalty of just a few months. We’re proud to have some of the best standards of animal welfare in the world but custodial sentences have long been letting us down.”

“Every year our officers are faced with cases of the most unimaginable cruelty… 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.”

It was back in 2017 that the UK Government, with support from cross party-politicians, first pledged to review the maximum sentence for those prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act. The new law brings England in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland, where convicted animal abusers can be jailed for up to five years.


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Quite right. Good to see this law has passed.