Posted on August 7, 2018
Battersea welcomes the Government’s determination to get tough on animal abusers, after DEFRA today published the results of their consultation into raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty.
The Government’s plans to increase the maximum sentence to five years are a much-needed change that will save countless animals from becoming the innocent victims of abuse.
Lowest in Europe
Currently the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in England and Wales is the lowest in Europe at just six months. Today the Government has confirmed it will legislate to increase that to five years for serious offences.
Sadly, Battersea sees the results of animal cruelty all too often. In May, a German Shepherd was brought into Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre in Kent after she was found by some children lying on the roadside.
The five year old dog, who staff named Lainey, was shockingly emaciated, and Battersea vets believe she may have been deliberately starved for a prolonged period before she was abandoned. She was barely alive when she arrived at the centre and her internal organs had already begun to shut down. Tragically, there was nothing that could be done to save her, so staff made the responsible decision to end her intense suffering and put her to sleep.
No longer prepared to put up with a six-month sentence
Battersea believes tougher maximum sentences for the worst animal cruelty will help dogs like Lainey in the future, by giving Courts greater flexibility in sentencing, and it will act as a deterrent against potential offenders. Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton said:
“Battersea welcomes the results of today’s Government consultation as they confirm the nation is no longer prepared to put up with a six-month sentence for shocking cases of cruelty to animals.
“We believe a five-year maximum sentence is far more appropriate and to the credit of the Government they have listened. We look forward to seeing the Bill laid before Parliament this year.”