The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. THE SENTENCING: On February 28, 2019, at Grimsby Magistrates Court in the UK, three men convicted of animal abuse received paltry sentences for their deliberate acts of cruelty. This will make it one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Fewer than one in 10 people convicted of animal cruelty offences in Wales in the last decade have been jailed, research by BBC Wales shows. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill. The maximum sentence in Northern Ireland is five years. There is offences for killing and harming animals (445), torturing animals (445.1), and neglecting animals (446). Can the world's largest vaccine maker meet demand? The maximum custodial sentence for animal cruelty in England and Wales - six months - is the lowest in Europe. "If these proposals lead to five-year jail sentences for those involved in dog fighting, this will be a massive step forward.". When driving a tuk-tuk pays more than making art. The UK government, which has previously committed to increase the maximum sentence from six months to five years, said it will do so "as soon as parliamentary time allows" to make the UK "a world leader in the care and protection of animals". There are three types of offences against animals generally. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill compliments the so-called ‘Finn’s Law’, which aims to provide more protection to service dogs and horses, also carrying a five year sentence … Tougher sentences for animal abusers have moved closed to becoming law, as a proposed bill went unopposed at second reading. The Government is planning to raise the maximum sentence from six months in jail as part of reforms to be announced at the Conservative Party … After years of campaigning and with help from our supporters, Defra put forward an Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in Summer 2019 - to increase the maximum sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years in England. The body which represents magistrates in the UK claims it would. "Magistrates always treat each individual case on its merits and sentence in line with the law and appropriate sentencing guidelines," said John Bache, chairman of the Magistrates' Association. David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, welcomed the move. Can onboard rollercoasters save the cruise industry? T he Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the … The new legislation will also enable courts to deal more effectively with ruthless gangs involved in organised dog fights, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said. Tougher sentences for animal abusers have moved closed to becoming law, as a proposed bill went unopposed at second reading. The move was praised by animal welfare groups and aligns with the public’s beliefs; more than 70 percent of people supported the notion to introduce tougher prison sentences. The MP for West Dorset said he was "shocked" to learn that in 2019 the RSPCA, (the UK's leading charity against animal cruelty), investigated more than 130,700 complaints of animal cruelty … Animal welfare minister David Rutley stated that longer sentences would be “a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect.” Animal cruelty is the mistreatment, torture and neglect of pets and other animals. Animal abuse may involve beating, shooting, hurting or stabbing animals. "At the moment the courts are limited by the law under which the strongest sentence for animal cruelty is six months' imprisonment and an unlimited fine - but this rarely happens.". The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences 10-fold from six months in prison to five years. "Maximum sentences are set by parliament, not the judiciary, but if they are increased this will change the range of sentences available and therefore affect sentencing guidelines and sentencing practice.". A 2017 survey by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home found 65% of the public agreed with increasing the maximum custodial sentencing powers of courts dealing with animal cruelty cases. The Public Bill Committee will scrutinise the Bill line by line. The move - an increase on the current six-month maximum sentence - follows a number of cases where English courts wanted to hand down tougher sentences. 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The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill means that animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months. VideoWhen driving a tuk-tuk pays more than making art, The defiant 'nail houses' refusing to sell up, Why the Swedes love doing something Americans hate. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category. "These plans will give courts the tools they have requested to deal with the most abhorrent acts," Mr Gove said. Tougher sentences for animal abusers have moved closed to becoming law, as a proposed bill went unopposed at second reading. The Scottish government said it … THE maximum sentence for animal cruelty crimes in Scotland has been raised to five years. Coronavirus: A year of high-speed discovery, Battling the pangolin traffickers. Politicians and public call for Redcar brothers who abused dog to be jailed, Democrats ready for Trump impeachment after riot. The House of Representatives could vote on Tuesday on whether to impeach Donald Trump, Democrats say. Cases such as these have led the RSPCA to call for tougher sentencing powers for magistrates to act as a stronger deterrent. A Caerphilly man who was caught having sex with his two dogs avoided prison and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences 10-fold from six months in prison to five years. The maximum five-year sentence will become one of the toughest punishments in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare. "Though custodial sentences are comparatively rare for animal-related offences, it is vital magistrates have at their disposal stronger sentences to send a clear statement to those thinking of harming animals that this behaviour will not be tolerated," said Michael Flower, the RSPCA's deputy head of prosecutions. A law to raise the previous 12-month limit came into … VideoWhen driving a tuk-tuk pays more than making art. 'Kind' pilot and newly-weds among air crash missing, Indonesia crashed plane's 'black boxes' located, The defiant 'nail houses' refusing to sell up, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}When driving a tuk-tuk pays more than making art. He said: "The strength of feeling behind a move to toughen up these sentences is huge. Sentences for animal cruelty to increase tenfold to five years Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that animal abusers could face up to five years in prison Animal abusers … "We have decided maintaining a comparative sentencing regime was important to ensure clarity for enforcement agencies, the courts and the public alike," a spokesperson added. Indonesia crashed plane's 'black boxes' located, 'Kind' pilot and newly-weds among air crash missing, What the Capitol riot means for US foreign policy, Coronavirus: A year of high-speed discovery, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}Battling the pangolin traffickers. Serious animal cruelty offenders are a high risk to the public as well as to animals. The majority of custodial sentences (44%) were one month or less in length. Magistrates "treat each individual case on its merits", the chairman of the Magistrates' Association said. "We are a nation of animal lovers and so we must ensure that those who commit the most shocking cruelty towards animals face suitably tough punishments.". And there has been a significant decline in the number of custodial sentences issued by courts in Wales - from a peak of 17 in 2011, to just six in 2017 - despite animal cruelty cases being at a five-year high. VideoBattling the pangolin traffickers, What the Capitol riot means for US foreign policy, Why the Swedes love doing something Americans hate. The Scottish government said it had recently committed to increasing the maximum penalty for the most serious animal cruelty cases to five years' imprisonment. Within the animal protection movement, the term "animal abuse" is used to describe any use or treatment of animals that seems unnecessarily cruel, regardless of … A GBH sentence can be up to 5 years in jail, animal cruelty an average of 3.3 months. The new Bill will enable tougher prison sentences for the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty, from the current maximum of six months to up to five years. These plans are part of wider programme of reform to cement the UK’s position as a global leader on animal … By Caleb Spencer & Gwyndaf HughesBBC News. 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