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Getting away with cruelty Print E-mail
Monday, 02 October 2017 15:44
We are a nation of dog lovers - allegedly. But that doesn't mean that some individuals don't enjoy meting out shocking cruelty to defenceless dogs. You may remember the case of the brothers who headbutted a bulldog puppy, hurled her down the stairs, swung her around and jumped on her? (Her injuries were so severe she had to be put to sleep). Were the perpetrators sent to jail for such horrific cruelty? No! Instead they received suspended sentences. Now, at last the law may change. Michael Gove has announced plans to toughen up punishment for the worst animal abusers with sentences up to five years. The six month maximum term was laid down more than 100 years ago although in 2006 an Act was passed that allowed for prison sentences of up to a year. Not that it did much good as since then, 12 in every 13 people convicted of cruelty to animals has avoided prison. This is despite the fact that suspended sentences for animal cruelty have risen sharply: in 2005 just 10 offenders, compared with 160 last year. Detailed policy proposals of the change in the law - which will require primary legislation - will be published around the end of the year. They can't come soon enough...
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