UK citizens who make the most severe crimes of animal cruelty may face up to 5 years of prison time, according to the government.
This decision to increase the 6-months maximum prison time for animal cruelty comes after several cases where the courts in England wanted to give harsher sentences.
According to Michael Gove, environment secretary, it would target the people who make the most shocking cruelty crimes against animals.
The RSPCA note that it would help prevent people from neglecting and abusing animals.
Animal Cruelty Should Never Go Unpunished
The courts will keep their ability to give unlimited fines and to ban offenders from keeping animals in the future.
But, they would also have the capacity to sentence worst cases more strictly.
The courts can now deal better with the gangs participating in organized dog fights. The plans will apply throughout England.
For offenders in Wales, the sentence is 6 months in prison (maximum) whereas in Scotland, it’s 12 months.
The Scottish government had recent efforts to increase the maximum sentence for serious animal cruelty up to 5 years of prison time.
This decision was motivated by the complaints of some judges and magistrates in some English courts who said that they wanted to give harsher sentences for animal abusers, but weren’t able because the law said otherwise.
However, today, they have the needed tools to act upon such horrible acts.
For Gove, the British nation is a nation of animal lovers and so they have to make sure that the people who’re cruel towards animals get punished adequately.
A Crucial Step Forward & for the Animal Welfare
For the head of the public affairs at the RSPCA, David Bowles, the courts have been limited by the law under the strongest sentence for animal cruelty being six months of prison time and an unlimited fine.
The Defra stated that around 1,150 individuals on a yearly basis get convictions for animal cruelty; however, only fewer than 5 get the maximum sentence.
Claire Horton who’s chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home emphasizes that this change will be positively accepted by the society as many people in this country profit from or find dog fights enjoyable.