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Parliament Has Passed An Animal Welfare Bill That Will Give Tougher Sentences For Animal Abuse

By Katherine Notman

Parliament Has Passed An Animal Welfare Bill That Will Give Tougher Sentences For Animal Abuse

Now all that’s needed is the Queen’s approval.

A bill that will mean longer sentences for those convicted of abusing animals has passed today in both Houses of Parliament, meaning that it will now pass to the Queen for Royal Assent. Many will celebrate this groundbreaking bill after years of campaigning for what has been dubbed ‘Finn’s Law’.

The campaign came about when police dog Finn was stabbed by a man wielding a knife in 2016 whilst trying to protect his beloved handler, Dave Wardell. The events of that day sparked a consistent campaign, headed by Dave himself, who wanted harsher sentences for those convicted of abusing animals. He and Finn are trustees of The Thin Blue Paw, a charity that provides financial support for those who adopt retired police dogs, and they have helped many families.

Interest in this campaign and pressure to pass the bill has only increased during lockdown, as dog thefts have risen across the country due to an increased interest in dog ownership. Now the penalty for animal cruelty will increase so that those convicted could face up to five years in prison, and this will come into effect later this year. It’s a significant change, from the current maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment.

In other news, another law is hoping to give renters the right to keep pets in their homes.