- Redcar MP who proposed Baby’s Law for tougher cruelty sentences welcomes government Bill
- Anna Turley calls new law ‘justice for Baby the bulldog and thousands of other animals who have suffered’.
Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has welcomed the government’s new Bill, presented to Parliament today, which will increase animal cruelty sentences to a new maximum of five years.
In 2016 Anna queued throughout the night to secure a private members’ bill to increase the maximum custodial sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years. This followed the horrific case of Baby the Bulldog who was brutally attacked in Redcar by two brothers, including being stamped on and thrown down the stairs. The perpetrators walked free from court on a suspended sentence.
The Bill fell with the onset of the general election in 2017 but the government later brought the policy forward in the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill in December 2017.
A public consultation showed 70% of respondents backed the new tougher sentences.
Today Environment Secretary Michael Gove is presenting the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to Parliament.
Responding to the news, Anna said:
“I am really pleased to see this Bill finally brought before Parliament and soon animal abusers will face the tougher sentences proportionate to the cruelty of their crimes.
“In 2016 I secured a Private Members Bill for five year sentences, following the abuse of Baby the Bulldog whose abusers kicked, stamped and threw him down the stairs. Many more animals have faced similar cruelty and campaigners have done a brilliant job swinging public opinion behind this and helping persuade the government to get on board.
“People who abuse animals have got away with a slap on the wrist for far too long. We know from the evidence that it soon escalates to violence against people too.
“We have had to wait too long since the government agreed to support my Bill over two years ago but I look forward to walking through the Yes voting lobby in support of this Bill and it being made law.”