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Animal cruelty sentences increase to up to five years in jail

2020-12-13 14:06| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 15| 评论: 0

摘要: New measures increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty to up to five years in prison have come into force.The maximum sentence was previously 12 months in jail. Courts will also have the power ...



New measures increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty to up to five years in prison have come into force.

The maximum sentence was previously 12 months in jail. Courts will also have the power to impose unlimited fines for the most serious cases.

The tougher penalties could involve cases of animal fighting or causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

A wide range of serious crimes against wildlife will also be covered.

The new rules are part of The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act, which was passed on 30 November.

In addition, Scotland has now adopted Finn's Law, which makes it harder for those who harm service animals to claim they were acting in self-defence.

Police dog FinnIMAGE COPYRIGHTPA
image captionPolice dog Finn was honoured for protecting PC Wardell

The law is named after police dog Finn who was stabbed and seriously hurt as he protected PC Dave Wardell from an attacker in Hertfordshire in 2016.

PC Wardell said: "Every day in Scotland our brave police dogs and horses put themselves in harm's way to look after us and protect society.

"To see these amazing animals receive the protection in law that they so rightly deserve is a great moment in my life."

The Scottish government said the law changes reflected its commitment "to ensuring Scotland's animals have the best possible protection, including our dedicated service animals".

'Respect and care'

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: "The vast majority of people in Scotland treat animals and wildlife with respect and care.

"However, the small minority who don't will be held accountable with consequences that reflect the severity of their crime."

The Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) said it was "fantastic" to see the new law come into effect.

Ch Supt Mike Flynn said: "Sentencing must act as a deterrent and we are hopeful that increasing sentences and fines will achieve this."


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