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Animal Welfare: Prosecutions

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions there have been for animal cruelty in each of the last five years. (243771)

The information requested on arrests is not collected centrally.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery.

Offences of animal cruelty are summary offences which do not form a part of the arrests collection.

Information provided by the Ministry of Justice on the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for selected offences of animal cruelty in England and Wales from 2003 to 2007, the latest available, are shown in the following table.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences of animal cruelty, England and Wales, 2003-071, 2












1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.


Office for Criminal Justice Reform - Evidence and Analysis Unit.