All abuse of animals is completely unacceptable.
There have been a number of high profile cases of particularly abhorrent and cruel attacks on animals where the offenders have escaped prison.
In Redcar, the Frankish Brothers kicked, stamped on, and threw their pet bulldog, Baby, down the stairs. More recently, a dog was buried alive in Redcar with a nail through its head.
Currently the maximum sentence for people who commit crimes of animal cruelty is a six month custodial sentence - a maximum that has not changed since the 1911 Protection of Animals Act. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 did make provision for a 51 week maximum sentence but the measure was never enacted. Six months in prison remains the maximum.
Clearly the current sentence is no deterrent to horrendous acts of animal cruelty and is not working. The Frankish brothers even escaped prison despite the severity of their crimes. Lenient sentencing may persuade other animal abusers that the law is on their side.
Anna secured a Private Members Bill in Parliament and tabled new legislation to try to increase the maximum sentences available to the court for animal cruelty offences. The Bill was scheduled to be debated in Parliament on Friday 24th February 2017 but earlier bills in the session were talked out, leaving no time for Anna's bill to be heard.
Anna now intends to pursue other legislative means to change the law on animal cruelty.