WAV Comment – up to 5 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine – well done Scotland (UK) for sending the clear message out that animal abuse will not be accepted. Lets hope this policy (and punishments) are adopted in many other places !
Scotland to introduce five year jail term for animal cruelty
Scotland will have the toughest penalties for animal cruelty in the UK – thanks to a new Bill passed in Parliament this week.
MSPs have supported increased penalties for the worst animal cruelty cases.
And Finn’s Law will also give new legal protections for service animals such as police dogs and horses, removing a legal defence of self-defence for attacks on service animals in the course of their duties.
The Animals and Wildlife (Scotland) Bill will increase the maximum penalty for the worst animal cruelty crimes to five years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Animal welfare enforcement agencies will also be given innovative new powers, allowing animals taken into their care to be quickly rehomed – without the need for a court order.
Mairi Gougeon, Rural Affairs Minister, said: “This Bill is an important milestone in Scotland’s long tradition of protecting our animals and wildlife.
“The increased maximum available penalties reflect the seriousness of some of the very cruel crimes seen against domestic and wild animals, although these cases are, thankfully, rare.
“Finn’s Law, named after a police dog brutally injured in the course of its duties, recognises the important role service animals play in protecting us in sometimes very difficult circumstances.
“The Bill also provides new powers, described as ‘transformative’ by the SSPCA, that will allow animal welfare enforcement agencies to quickly rehome animals in their care.”
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals welcomed the government’s decision.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity, which is reponsible for investigating animal cruelty and rehoming animals seized on welfare grounds, said the law will be game-changing for both animals and the organisation.
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