Henry Smith MP attended Battersea’s reception in Parliament to reiterate his support for changing the law to increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty.
Currently, courts in England and Wales can only punish the most serious animal cruelty offences with a maximum of up to six months in prison, a banning order and an unlimited fine.
The measure recently returned to Parliament, following the introduction of a new Bill to change the law, allowing for sentences to increase to a maximum of five years for animal cruelty offences.
The Government has already indicated its intention to support the Bill during its passage through Parliament. This change would provide the justice system with the flexibility to treat the most shocking acts of animal cruelty much more seriously than it can at present.
Crawley MP Henry Smith added his signature to a pledge board to underline his support for the change to the legislation.
“It’s critically important that we change the law to better protect animals in the future. The current maximum penalty is neither a punishment nor a deterrent to offenders and this change is long overdue.
“I’m proud to support this Bill and Battersea’s campaign.”
Northern Ireland already has sentences of up to five years, and the Scottish Government is currently legislating for five-year sentences.