Those convicted for animal abuse crimes will soon be facing a sentence for up to five years!
The announcement was made by Environment Secretary Michael Gove at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, and is a landmark achievement for the League Against Cruel Sports.
Right now, the sentencing for animal cruelty in England and Wales is a mere six months, hardly a deterrent for the hardened criminals that inflict pain and torture on animals for ‘sport’. But a five-year prison sentence will hopefully act as a better deterrent.
Since it launched in May 2016, over 98,000 people signed a petition by the League calling for tougher sentences for those convicted of dog fighting, and the pressure has clearly been working. The league and I have been tirelessly lobbying government officials about the importance of this change, and finally they have listened.
But increasing animal cruelty sentencing is just one of the points of the League’s National Dog Fighting Action Plan, which also includes:
- The implementation of a national register for individuals banned from keeping dogs, to prevent those already convicted of animal cruelty from being able to re-offend.
- Dog fighting to be recorded as a specific offence separate to animal fighting in order to enable the scale of the problem to be more accurately assessed
- The Dangerous Dogs Act should be reviewed as a matter of urgency
- The formation of a National Dog Fighting Task Force
And let’s not forget, it hasn’t happened yet. I welcome this new proposal, it’s what we’ve all been working towards, but it is now more important than ever to keep pressure on the government to make good on its promise.