Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Last week, I was pleased to attend Battersea’s reception to show my support for changing the law in order to increase maximum sentence for animal cruelty. Presently, Courts in England & 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. There have been some truly dreadful cases of animal cruelty recently, which show that tougher sentences are warranted.
The Government has been dragging its feet a little, but a backbench MP has now introduced a Private Members Bill, which will allow sentences of up to a maximum of five years for animal cruelty offences – a change I have been campaigning for since 2017. The Government has already indicated its intention to support the Bill during its passage through Parliament, and I will of course support it too, so that the most shaking cases of animal cruelty are treated with the severity they deserve.