NE Herts MP Oliver Heald met representatives of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home today to make common cause over the introduction of a new law to increase sentences for animal welfare offences from a maximum 6 months imprisonment to 5 years. This was part of Oliver’s original plea, when he introduced Finn’s Law (now the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019, which removed the barrier to prosecuting for animal cruelty to service animals) and the Government promised to introduce its own law to do so.
Oliver has been pressing for the change for 3 years and the Government has promised to do this, but has not so far introduced a new Bill to do so. Oliver’s constituent PC Dave Wardell and Finn’s supporters also back the change. Oliver recently pressed the Leader of the House of Commons (Jacob Rees-Mogg) to introduce the Bill and other MPs including Stephen McPartland have also taken this up.
Commenting Oliver said: “The Government has promised this important strengthening of the law on sentencing to ensure proper punishment for abusing our animals, including service animals, and I will keep pressing with the support of Battersea, PC Wardell, the media and the other main animal charities.”
Photo shows Oliver and Richard Clare (L) Public Affairs and Scott Fryer (R) Senior Policy Officer of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home at Portcullis House, Westminster.