Michael Gove announces new bill that will punish animal abusers

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill aims to prevent animal suffering


The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has released news of a new bill that will mean stricter prison sentences for the worst instances of animal abuse.


Not only will it help to protect companion animals who are neglected and made to suffer, but farmed animals, too.


The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill extends the current maximum prison sentence of six months to five years, providing much more of a deterrent against animal abuse.


The bill follows strong public pressure on the government to bring in tougher prison sentences for animal abusers. A public consultation carried out last year, found that  70 per cent of people supported the proposal.


‘Deterrent against cruelty’


Animal welfare minister, David Rutley, comments: “These increased maximum sentences will act as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect in the future.


“This step builds on recent positive action we have taken to protect animals, including plans to ban third party puppy and kitten sales and banning the use of wild animals in circuses.”


The new anti-cruelty proposals show that more people are starting to make the connection between the animals they love, and the animals that they will happily eat.


Previously, UK animal protection regulations have been focused towards companion animals, with less strict animal abuse laws typically being placed on farmed or wild animals.


‘No place for cruelty’


Following the bill’s announcement, Michael Gove said: “There is no place in this country for animal cruelty. That is why I want to make sure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law.”


“Our new Bill sends a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated, with the maximum five-year sentence one of the toughest punishments in Europe.”


“I am committed to making our country the best place in the world for the care and protection of animals.”


The future is vegan


Let’s hope that Gove’s bill means that negligent conditions and mass animal suffering is no longer tolerated.


In spite of this, we must remember that the only way to truly end the animal suffering that the bill aims to prevent is for people to go vegan.


Until this happens, even with these protections in place, hundreds and thousands of animals will still suffer and die for the sake of the meat and diary industries.