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Call for tougher animal cruelty sentences backed

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott is again backing a call for tougher sentences for animal cruelty.

The Centre for Crime Prevention is recommending that the maximum sentence is increased from six months – the lowest in Europe – to five years.

Figures have revealed that more than 92% of offenders convicted of animal cruelty over ten years ending in 2015 in England and Wales avoided prison.

“I have long advocated tougher sentences and I was particularly sickened by the case of the two Redcar thugs who walked free from court last year after subjecting a bulldog to a horrific attack,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“If only that were an isolated instance. Yet despite daily examples of unspeakable cruelty, I genuinely can’t remember the last time anyone actually served more than 2 months in prison before early release – even for the most heinous of offences against animals.

“It is all very well for the government to mutter that it is reviewing the matter and any changes to legislation should always be carefully considered before implementation.

“But this problem has been apparent for years. It’s not a complex matter to add animal cruelty offences to the list for which ‘unduly lenient’ sentences can be reviewed, or to toughen up on making sure that bans on keeping animals are properly enforced.

“Nor is it a complex matter to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty so that culprits can be dealt with in a proper manner and more in keeping with their heartless crimes.

“The public are righty outraged at our government’s rudderless leadership and the leniency shown to such offenders. Those who deliberately harm animals should face sentences which actually deliver justice,” said Mr Arnott.

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