Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, has welcomed the government’s draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill which brings tougher animal cruelty sentences a step closer.
The draft legislation, published today, would increase the maximum penalty for animal welfare offences in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from six months to five years’ imprisonment.
At the heart of the text are the same provisions for tougher sentences introduced to parliament by Anna in her Private Members Bill. Her bill was axed by the Tories back in February but has returned as part of the government’s draft.
A seven week consultation on the legislation begins today and will end on 31st January.
“I am thrilled to see the government have listened to our campaign for Baby's Law and will be increasing the length of prison sentences for animal abusers.
“We have been campaigning to see the measly 6 months sentences scrapped and replaced with something tougher. Ministers have listened and today with this draft bill we are a step closer to seeing the worst abusers face five years in prison.
“This will be justice for Baby the Bulldog, Scamp the terrier, and thousands of other animals across the country who have experienced despicable acts of cruelty. The message must go out that there is no place for this kind of abuse in society, and offenders will face justice.
“I will be working with the animal welfare charities, who have played a big role in this campaign, to ensure this law change is the strongest it can be.
“Congratulations to everyone in the local community who campaigned to send a message to government that no animal should suffer at the hands of people that are supposed to protect them like Baby and Scamp had to.”