Conservative Government plans to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty tenfold has been welcomed by Rachel.

Following a public consultation, Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP, has announced animal abusers who commit the most heinous crimes will now face up to five years in prison.

Currently, the maximum sentence is six months, but on Tuesday (August 7th) the Government confirmed it will legislate to increase that tenfold for serious offences, sending a clear message there is no place for animal cruelty in England.

The draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill was put out to consultation in December 2017. The draft Bill also sets out proposals to ensure animal sentience is enshrined in UK law when we leave the EU.

Rachel said: “As a dog owner myself, I’ll never understand how anyone could ever abuse animals. Anyone who does should face the full weight of the law and should be severely punished.

“I often hear from constituents who want to make sure the UK remains a world leader in animal protection once we have left the EU. The increase in the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years ensures this will continue to be the case.

“Along with enshrining animal sentience in UK law, making CCTV mandatory in all English slaughterhouses and taking steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter as we leave the EU, this Conservative Government is absolutely committed to strengthening animal welfare and protection laws.”

Animal Welfare Minister, Lord Gardiner said: “This Government is making good on our commitment to make the UK a world leader in the care and protection of animals as we leave the EU.

“Our proposals to raise maximum sentences for animal abusers attracted strong support. We will now legislate so courts have the power to punish offenders properly.

“We will also continue to work with welfare organisations to ensure that animal sentience is properly recognised in our legislation once we have left the EU.”