Dunne pledges support to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has pledged his support for changing the law to increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty.

Currently, Courts in England & Wales can only punish the most serious animal cruelty offences with a maximum of up to six months in prison, a banning order and an unlimited fine.

Last week saw the measure return to Parliament, following the introduction of a new Bill to change the law, allowing for sentences to increase to a maximum of five years for animal cruelty offences.

The Government has already indicated its intention to support the Bill during its passage through Parliament. This change would provide the justice system with the flexibility to treat the most shocking acts of animal cruelty much more seriously than it can at present. 

At the reception by Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Mr Dunne added his signature to a pledge board for MPs to underline support for the change to the legislation.

Mr Dunne said: “It’s important that we change the law to protect animals better in the future. The current maximum penalty is neither a punishment nor a deterrent to offenders and this change is long overdue. There is widespread public support for increasing sentences for animal cruelty, as shown by the 70% support in the public consultation. I’m proud to support this Bill and Battersea’s campaign.”

Northern Ireland already has sentences of up to five years, and the Scottish Government is currently legislating for five-year sentences.

For further information on Battersea’s campaign, please visit http://notfunny.battersea.org.uk/