Animal charity RSPCA has announced it is supporting calls for tougher sentences of up to five years in jail for the worst animal abusers to be made law by autumn.
The charity revealed it deals with “some of the worst cases of neglect and cruelty “ and has “long campaigned” for tougher sentences for animal cruelty offenders.
It fears that the pressures on the government dealing with the Coronavirus crisis means the important Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill could be forgotten.
Since the government announced the lockdown in March, RSPCA revealed its frontline officers have dealt with more than 47,000 incidents (up to 31 May 2020, including 21,137 incidents up to the end of April).
David Bowles, head of public affairs, said: “We’re pleased to see the opposition calling on the government to get the Animal Sentencing Bill on the statute books by Autumn.
“As a charity which deals with some of the worst animal cruelty cases, we believe the current sentencing provisions, which only allow for a maximum of six months in prison does not go far enough.”
He added: “Sadly, cruelty has not stopped during the lockdown and we’re very concerned about the welfare impact of an expected financial downturn, so now more than ever we need to see animals protected and sentences increased.”