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Proposals to increase sentencing for animal cruelty 05/02/2019 The Scottish Government is seeking views on proposals to strengthen enforcement powers for animal welfare offences.

Proposals to increase sentencing for animal cruelty

The Scottish Government is seeking views on proposals to strengthen enforcement powers for animal welfare offences.

Proposed amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 would increase the maximum penalty for the most serious cruelty offences from 12 months to five years imprisonment, and a potential unlimited fine.

These new tougher penalties could also apply to attacks against service animals, supporting the initiative known as ‘Finn’s Law’.

The changes would also allow quicker rehoming of animals removed by animal welfare inspectors. This would make it possible for abused or neglected animals to move to new homes immediately, instead of being subject to potentially lengthy stays in temporary facilities.

It is also proposed to enable enforcement authorities to issue fixed penalty notices, which would allow animal welfare inspectors to better apply quick and proportionate punishment for offences such as missing documents.

“We want to have the highest standards of welfare for our animals, but before we introduce new legislation, it’s vital that we know what relevant stakeholders - particularly those with practical experience of animal cruelty issues,” said Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon.

 

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