A bill calling for tougher penalties for those guilty of animal cruelty will receive royal assent and become law.
“The Bill is now before Her Majesty The Queen for Royal Assent. ONE DAY away from this important animal law change!”
The new law raised the maximum penalty for those found guilty of animal cruelty-related charges in England and Wales to six months in prison and an unlimited fine to five years in prison.
Since animal cruelty is a devolved issue, the Scottish and Northern Irish governments have their own animal cruelty related penalties.
The bill, also called Finn’s Law, was spearheaded by Dave Wardell and his adorable dog Finn, who are both trustees of The Thin Blue Paw Foundation – a charity that aims to provide financial support to families who adopt retired police dogs when they leave the Force.
A former police officer, Dave launched the Finn’s Law campaign after Finn, an 11-year-old German shepherd dog, was stabbed while on the job.
In October 2016, Finn was protecting Dave from a knife-wielding man when he was stabbed in the head and chest and nearly died.
The first part of Finn’s Law called for more government help to care for service animals such as police dogs like Finn.
The second part of the law was to require tougher sentences for people who commit acts of animal cruelty – with the maximum penalty now being five years in prison.
In a statement, Dave said: “I am delighted that Part 2 of Finn’s Law, or the Animal Welfare (Sentences) Bill, has passed all stages and is enacted following Royal Assent. .
“When this new bill comes into force later this year, it will mean that our beloved animals will be better protected and the courts will have more power to impose longer prison sentences on those who commit horrific cruelties. and abuse.
“I am so thrilled that Finn’s traumatic ordeal has paved the way for change and that his legacy will make a difference in the lives of animals for decades to come.”
The changes to the law to protect more animals come after a petition was sent to the government to make dog theft a specific criminal offence.
The rise in dog thefts is believed to be due to the high demand for puppies during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to price spikes.