Six-month sentence for dog fighter is not enough
A man has pleaded guilty to dog fighting charges and is now facing 24 weeks in jail and a lifetime ban on keeping animals. The man from Hertfordshire admitted to three offences, including keeping or training a dog for use in connection with an animal fight and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.
The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the news of the conviction and the lifetime ban, but is reiterating its call for the Government to bring in the tougher sentences for animal cruelty as promised.
Suzanne Heaney, dog fighting Programme Manager for the League, said:
"This case highlights the need to send a clear message to potential perpetrators of this awful animal cruelty, by bringing in tougher sentences that judges will rigorously enforce. A six-month penalty doesn't go nearly far enough in reflecting the horrific pain and distress that endure when they are forced to fight."
The League is calling on the Government to:
- Quickly bring in the tougher sentences as promised, directing the courts to treat all dog fighting cases as an automatic five year sentence.
- Introduce a national register of those who've been disqualified from keeping animals to make it more difficult for them to get hold of other animals to abuse. It needs to be accessible to the rehoming sector and law enforcement to help them spot unsuitable homes as well as the people who break disqualification orders.
- Clamp down on 'free to a good home' ads, acknowledging that animals aren't objects to be picked up and disposed of like old furniture.
"We'd like to see swift action from the Government with the pledge they made for tougher sentences for animal cruelty, so dog fighting offenders are deterred and dogs are better protected against this awful animal abuse. Sadly dog fighting is not a thing of the past - it's still happening today - nearly 200 years after it was banned and it's time we strengthened the law and sent it back into the history books where it belongs", said Suzanne.