Tougher sentences for animal abusers in Wales are a step closer to reality as the RSPCA continues to campaign for the change.
The Welsh Government has laid a legislative consent memorandum (LCM) which would allow provisions in the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, a Westminster Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Chris Loder MP, to apply to Wales too.
Under the proposals, the maximum sentence for those convicted of certain animal cruelty offences would increase by ten-fold – from six months to five years. Members of the Senedd will vote on the LCM, and should they support it, such changes would apply in Wales too.
England and Wales currently have some of the lowest sentences for animal welfare offences in the world.
In early February, the Bill passed Committee stage in the House of Commons. The RSPCA hopes the Bill can complete its legislative journey before the end of this UK parliamentary session, and is urging the UK Government to make time for it.
With the clock ticking to get justice for animals, animal welfare supporters can take action online.
RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “Wales is one step closer to tougher sentences for animal abusers.
“We have long supported tougher sentences being made available in courts – and this LCM paves the way for Chris Loder MP’s backbench Bill to apply to Wales too.
“Sadly, England and Wales have some of the lowest sentences for animal welfare offences in the world. The punishments available are too often totally inadequate and that needs to change.
“At Westminster, we continue to urge MPs, Peers and the UK Government to do everything they can to get Chris Loder’s Bill through; and in Wales we hope Members of the Senedd will back this LCM, so more animals get the justice they deserve.
“The clock is now ticking to get justice for animals. Supporters can act now to make sure the Bill becomes law before the next Queen’s Speech – which will now mean positive change for animals in both England and Wales.”
More information on the RSPCA’s campaign can be found online.