Animal charity Battersea has responded to Labour’s call for the government to pass the long-awaited Animal Cruelty Sentencing Bill.
The bill, which would see the maximum sentence for the worst offences of animal abuse increase from six months to five years in England and Wales, into law.
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.
Battersea’s CEO, Claire Horton CBE, said: “Battersea has been campaigning for stronger sentences for animal abusers since 2017 and it’s now been almost three years since the government pledged to bring in this law.
“In those three years, while this Bill has been put off time and again, dozens of animal cruelty cases have come through the courts and offenders have been served with an absolute maximum of just six months for the most appalling acts of abuse – less than they would get for the same offences throughout the rest of Europe.”
She added: “We are very heartened by the cross-party support for the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, and welcome progress being made in Scotland towards five-year sentences becoming law. We are now calling again for the UK government to make this long overdue change in England and Wales a priority”.