Chloe Smith
Conservative Candidate for Norwich North

Animal cruelty update

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 19 July 2019 12:46

Last week the Government introduced a new Bill to toughen maximum sentences for animal abusers. In Chloe’s absence, whilst she is on maternity leave, her office is pleased to share the following information with you.


Chloe has previously said: “It is right that those people who commit the most shocking cruelty against animals should face suitably tough punishment. We will give courts the powers they have called for to punish the most abhorrent acts and deter other offenders. This measure will ensure animal cruelty is treated with the seriousness it deserves. At the moment, courts can hand out a five-year sentence for fly-tipping but only a six-month sentence for heinous acts of cruelty to animals. We will correct this by ensuring tougher penalties are available to the courts for the very worst offences.


As a nation of animal lovers, it is important that people in the U.K. look after their animals, and while the majority of people do so, there are some who think it is acceptable to treat animals cruelly. It is only right that those who commit the most shocking crimes against animals are met with the full force of the law, which is why the Government is proposing an increase in the maximum sentence from six months to five years. This is one change amongst a package of improvements made since 2010 on animal welfare, ensuring the U.K. maintains and is strengthening its position as a global leader on animal welfare.


The key information regarding this bill is that:


  • 70 per cent of people from the Governments consultation to assess the opinion of welfare groups and the public supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences;
  • Animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months. This will make it one of the toughest sanctions in Europe;
  • Recognising that animals are sentient beings in primary legislation. Animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffering, so the Government is writing that principle into law; and
  • Banning third-party sales of puppies and kittens to ensure they get the right start in life. The ban – which received 95 per cent of public support – is ending the terrible welfare conditions found in puppy farming and solve a range of existing animal welfare issues.

To find out more about this bill click here.