The Government has published a draft bill - Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) - which would increase the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty tenfold, from six months to five years, in England and Wales. The draft bill also sets out that the government “must have regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings in formulating and implementing government policy”. Subject to consultation on the draft bill, the government will legislate to deliver both aims.
The plans underline the government’s commitment to raising animal welfare standards, ensuring there will be enhanced protections for animals as we leave the EU.
The move has been strongly welcomed by animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and follows dedicated campaigning from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The draft Bill is part of a wider programme of reform to cement the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare. Earlier in the year, we announced plans to make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses and we have committed to taking steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter as we leave the EU.
Tuesday December 12, 2017/ DEFRA/ United Kingdom.