Animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is urging the government to stand by promises it made a year ago to increase custodial sentences for animal abusers.

One year ago today, the League led a delegation of animal welfare charities to Number 10 to urge the government to stand by its promise to push the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill through parliament.

But despite then-environment secretary Michael Gove promising the bill would be heard, a year on and animals are still being treated cruelly with next to no deterrent for the perpetrators.

Pictured here is the delegation of animal charities at Number 10. League CEO Andy Knott stands fifth from the right.

Andy Knott, MBE, chief executive of the League, said: “This time last year we, the RSPCA and nine other charities were determined to hold the government to account and were delighted to receive the assurance that the Bill would go through parliament.

“A year on and those assurances are ringing hollow. In fact, we’ve been waiting since September 2017 when Michael Gove first announced a change in sentencing for animal cruelty.  In the meantime animals across the country are still being injured or killed at the hands of people who will not face a proper punishment for their crimes.

Last year Michael Gove said he was ‘committed to making our country the best place in the world for the care and protection of animals’, so why are we still waiting?”

The League Against Cruel Sports campaigns against those sports in which animals are harmed or killed. This includes animal fighting and animal hunting, in which those taking part in these activities are likely to face prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act, as well as the Hunting Act.

The League gathers and analyses intelligence from a number of sources before passing it to the authorities so that prosecutions can be carried out.

This is why the League is at the heart of the campaign to see sentences for animal cruelty toughened.

Mr Knott added: “Until there is a proper deterrent this abuse will simply continue.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove first announced the Government’s intention to increase maximum prison sentences from six months to five years in September 2017.

However, despite repeated promises and assurances by the Government to amend the Animal Welfare Act, and the policy being announced at two consecutive Conservative Party conferences, plus its inclusion in the party’s election manifesto, the change has yet to be made.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Pictured above is the delegation of animal charities at Number 10. League CEO Andy Knott stands fifth from the right.

Other charities that attended were Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Compassion in World Farming, Dogs Trust, Humane Society International UK, International Fund for Animal Welfare, UK Centre for Animal Law, and World Horse Welfare.

For more information please contact Emma Judd, Deputy Director of Campaigns, on 07494399074

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).