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Charity calls for increase in jail term for animal abusers

Tuesday February 21st 2017

There should be harsher sentences for anyone convicted of animal cruelty, a welfare charity is urging.

A campaign by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (BDCH) is calling for a ten-fold increase in the current sentence, from a six-month maximum jail term to a five-year sanction.

The current term under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) has been called 'shocking' and 'laughable' by animal rights campaigners.

BDCH chief executive Claire Horton said: "It isn't acceptable that our courts are unable to hand out tougher sentences in such extreme animal cruelty cases, yet the likes of fly-tipping can result in prison sentences of up to five years.

"So let's get this into proportion and let the punishment for abusing animals truly fit the crime."

In Britain, the average sentence for cruelty against animals was three and a third months in 2015, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The launch of the campaign comes ahead of a parliamentary debate on a Private Member's Bill to impose harsher punishment for cruel acts against animals that will take place on Friday, February 24.

Other charities, including the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports, are also in support of the proposed Bill.

Copyright Press Association 2017