Saqib Bhatti, Member of Parliament for Meriden, has celebrated the new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act alongside Birmingham Dogs home in Catherine de Barnes. The Bill recently received Royal Assent, enshrining it into law.
The new legislation ensures that courts are able to enforce tougher penalties for the most heinous animal cruelty crimes and increases the maximum prison sentences for these crimes from six months to five years.
In October 2020, Saqib backed a Private Members Bill, commonly referred to as Finn’s Law – in honour of the brave police service dog who was stabbed in the chest and head in the line of duty – calling for “people who commit such callous acts” to “meet the full force of the law”.
Commenting on the news that the Bill has now been enshrined into law, Saqib said:
“We are a nation of animal lovers and I know that this is an issue close to many hearts here in Meriden constituency. Our precious animals and pets mean so much to us and protecting them should always be a top priority. These new measures ensure that those who harm either service or any other animals are punished accordingly, putting animal welfare right at the heart of policy.
I would also like to thank Birmingham Dogs Home in Catherine de Barnes who have been long standing champions of animal welfare here in Meriden and I am pleased that these reforms have their backing”.
Chief Executive at Birmingham Dogs Home, Giles Webber commented:
“Both as a deterrent and as a punishment, tougher sentences for animal cruelty is a huge step forward for the future welfare of animals in this country.”