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Animals: Abuse

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will review the adequacy of the maximum penalty for the neglect of and cruelty to animals. (154376)

There are no plans to review the current penalty for the offence of animal cruelty contained in the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which came into force in Wales on 27 March 2007 and in England on 6 April 2007.

The Act increased the maximum penalty for an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal from £5,000 to a fine of £20,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of six months, or both. The Act also introduced the new offence of failing to ensure the welfare of animals, which carries a penalty of up to six months' imprisonment, or a fine of up to £5,000, or both. I am satisfied that these sentences are proportionate and in line with those provided for in comparable legislation.