Tougher Sentencing for Animal Fighting Offences
As part of RSPCA week the RSPCA are calling for tougher sentences for organised animal fighting offences. The victims of such violent abuse can't call the RSPCA or ask for help, they need your voice.
The RSPCA are on the frontline in the fight against organised cruelty to animals. Their inspectors and teams of special investigators deal with serious cases of extreme violence towards animals on a regular basis.
While the RSPCA has seen some great successes bringing animal abusers who train and fight animals to justice, they're concerned that the punishment does not always fit the severity of the crime. In the last two years there has been a threefold increase in organised animal fighting such as dog fighting and cock fighting, despite these gruesome blood sports being banned for over 150 years.
Dogs trained as "killing machines" and pitted against other dogs with the aim of inflicting as much pain and damage as possible. Badgers dragged out of their setts and thrown to packs of baying dogs. These are just some of the extreme cases of violence towards animals the RSPCA inspectors deal with on a far too frequent basis.
A recent case of three men who undertook an extensive and sustained abuse of wild animals by trapping them and filming packs of dogs ripping the wild animals to shreds were given a sentence of just 16 weeks. The case was one of the most distressing RSPCA caseworkers had ever seen.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum custodial sentence for a person who inflicts abuse on animals in this way, regardless of the number of animals affected, the suffering caused, or lack of remorse, is six months imprisonment, should the Magistrate deem a custodial sentence is suitable. Even then, if they pleaded guilty, this sentence could be reduced.
The RSPCA would like the Westminster Government to undertake a review of sentencing for animal abuse under the Animal Welfare Act and make amendments to legislation which would give the Courts powers to impose tougher sentences for serious animal fighting offences.
Take action now!
Email your MP and urge them to act! It is quick and easy to do. Simply email your MP asking them to urge the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, to urgently undertake a review of sentencing for animal abuse and raise sentences for animal fighting offences.
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