Chris Loder, the MP for West Dorset, has today introduced 'Loder's Law' Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in the House of Commons. The Private Members’ Bill makes provision for the maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be increased from six months to up to five years.
The MP, who is a farmer’s son and an advocate of high animal welfare, says his own dog Poppy, a Springer Spaniel, is part of his inspiration for the Bill. She was cruelly abandoned at the roadside in West Dorset but is now a much-loved farm dog and family pet. He says:
“Despite legislation being in place, I was shocked to learn that in 2019 the RSPCA investigated more than 130,700 complaints of cruelty against animals and secured 1,678 convictions. I believe more stringent sentencing will act as a greater deterrent against animal cruelty. Britain needs to take a lead on global standards for animal welfare. We are renowned to be a nation of animal lovers – now let’s prove that by handing down appropriate penalties to those who bring unnecessary suffering to animals”.
The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill has been introduced to the House of Commons, before moving to the House of Lords. If passed, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent.
ENDS 5th February 2020
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
On average in England and Wales, somebody calls the RSPCA’s 24 hr animal cruelty hotline (0300 1234 999) every 30 seconds – in 2018 it received 1,175,193 calls. Dogs are the most persecuted pet in the UK, accounting for more than 57% of complaints to the RSPCA.