Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Animal Abusers To Receive Tougher Sentences

Animal Abusers

The worst criminal cases only carry a top custodial sentence of six months, which has been described as ‘shocking’ and ‘laughable’.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (BDCH) launched the campaign today, saying England and Wales lag behind many other western nations in penalising abusers.

The RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports also called for increased prison terms, ahead of a parliamentary debate this Friday.

Raising the maximum sanction to five years in prison would put England and Wales on a par with Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The average prison term for someone convicted of animal cruelty is 3.3 months.

BDCH chief executive Claire Horton said: ‘It isn’t acceptable that our courts are unable to hand out tougher sentences in such extreme animal cruelty cases, yet the likes of fly-tipping can result in prison sentences of up to five years.

‘So let’s get this into proportion and let the punishment for abusing animals truly fit the crime.’ In a report the dogs and cats home said England and Wales’ six-month maximum sentence puts it on a par with Belgium, Macedonia and the US states Idaho and Mississippi.

But it lags behind countries like Latvia (five years) and Finland (four years) and states Connecticut and Louisiana (both 10 years) and Queensland (seven years).

In Germany and France the maximum sentence is two and three years respectively.

The campaign launch comes ahead of a debate in Parliament on the subject.

The discussion of a Private Member’s Bill by Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar, will take place on February 24.

A Defra spokesman said the Government ‘shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare’ and kept the ‘strict’ legislation under regular review.



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