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Britain to reinforce prison sentences for acts of animal cruelty

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To date, the longest prison sentence for someone who has committed an act of animal cruelty in Britain is 6 months. But discussions are being had to change this. For most of us, pets are our family. It only seems fit that their rights are protected just as ours would be.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 09/07/2019, 16:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:44

If Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s proposal goes according to plan, the new prison sentence could be as long as 5 years! While the project still needs to pass through the House of Commons, Gove hopes it will officially be put into place by the end of 2019.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

Gove announced just last week: “There is no place in this country for animal cruelty. That is why I want to make sure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law. Our new Bill sends a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated, with the maximum five-year sentence one of the toughest punishments in Europe. I am committed to making our country the best place in the world for the care and protection of animals.”

Hope for animals and their supporters

This has been a long-awaited change for animal welfare campaigners, such as Ricky Gervais, but also for pet-lovers around the country. The last few months have seen news about horrific and unimaginable acts of cruelty in Britain – from heartless owners abandoning their pets to outright beating them – and this is not in line with the country’s animal-loving reputation.

Though nothing is yet for certain, the project has also brought hope to animal charities in Britain. Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said: “The introduction of this bill is a landmark achievement, which will make a profound difference to dogs and cats in England and Wales.”

“Research shows that tougher prison sentences act as a deterrent to would-be criminals, so today’s announcement should prevent the suffering of many animals in the future.”

Let’s hope this bill comes to pass.