The government has announced its support of a new law that would mean animal abusers could face up to five years in prison.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill was published in Parliament by MP Chris Loder MP on 5 February. The new Bill will enable \u201ctougher\u201d prison sentences for the \u201cmost serious perpetrators\u201d of animal cruelty, bringing the current maximum six-month sentence up to five years.\r\n\r\nIt will be \u201cone of the toughest\u201d sanctions for animal abuse in Europe, strengthening the UK\u2019s position as a global leader on animal welfare. It also follows a public consultation in 2017, where over 70% of respondents supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences.\r\n\r\nChris Loder, MP for West Dorset, said: \u201cI was shocked to learn that in 2019, the RSPCA investigated more than 130,700 complaints of cruelty against animals and secured 1,678 convictions.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cI believe tougher sentencing will act as a greater deterrent against the worst examples of animal cruelty. We are renowned as a nation of animal lovers and Britain needs to lead the world on animal welfare legislation.\u201d\r\n\r\nRSPCA chief executive, Chris Sherwood, added: \u201cWe are pleased a new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill is being introduced and hope it will be \u2018third time lucky\u2019 for this proposed legislation following a couple of false starts last year.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe see horrendous acts of cruelty perpetrated on animals and have long campaigned for the current maximum six-month jail term to be increased to five years. The Bill has come so close to being enacted in the past \u2013 let\u2019s not allow this important change to animal cruelty sentencing to slip through our hands.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will be introduced into the House of Commons, before moving to the House of Lords. If passed, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent.