Skip to main content

Animal Cruelty: Prison Sentences

Volume 647: debated on Thursday 18 October 2018

10. When he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to increase the length of prison sentences for animal cruelty. (907145)

The Government will increase the custodial maximum penalty for animal cruelty from six months’ to five years’ imprisonment. The legislation needed to implement the increase will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Ten months ago, the Secretary of State told me that he would examine proposals to expedite legislation to introduce an increase in the sentence for animal cruelty. Given cross-party support, the support of the general public and the brilliant campaigning of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, can the Secretary of State now give us a timetable for when that will actually happen?

I know that the Leader of the House, who will be here shortly, will have heard that eloquent plea from the hon. Lady, and I add my voice to hers.

Animal cruelty extends to the way in which an animal is slaughtered. When will there be legislation to ensure that halal meat is properly labelled in supermarkets?

My hon. Friend raises an issue of great concern to many. One of the things that we are doing is consulting religious communities and others to establish what changes, if any, may be required.

There is a fairly simple way of ensuring that this measure is implemented: introducing and then supporting a private Member’s Bill. Will the Secretary of State support any Member who introduces such a Bill?

That decision is above my pay grade—it would be made by the Chief Whip and the Leader of the House—but, as I indicated to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson), I am passionately keen to see an end to animal cruelty.

Mike Wood? Not here. Well, we cannot conclude these proceedings without hearing from Mr Tom Pursglove.