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Government to increase animal cruelty maximum sentences

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Government to increase animal cruelty maximum sentences 9th August 2018

The Government has confirmed it will increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty cases.

According to DEFRA: “Animal abusers who commit the most heinous crimes will face up to five years in jail after draft legislation set out by Environment Secretary Michael Gove gained strong support from welfare groups and the public.”

Currently the maximum sentence is six months but following a consultation the Government has confirmed it will legislate to increase that tenfold for serious offences, “sending a clear sign there is no place for animal cruelty in England.”

The draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill was put out to consultation in December 2017.

Animal Welfare Minister, Lord Gardiner said:

“This Government is making good on our commitment to make the UK a world leader in the care and protection of animals as we leave the EU.

“Our proposals to raise maximum sentences for animal abusers attracted strong support. We will now legislate so courts have the power to punish offenders properly.

“We will also continue to work with welfare organisations to ensure that animal sentience is properly recognised in our legislation once we have left the EU.”

DEFRA said: “These plans are part of wider programme of reform to cement the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.”

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