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Parliament Officially Passes Animal Welfare Bill Calling For Tougher Sentencing After Finn's Law Campaign

Parliament Officially Passes Animal Welfare Bill Calling For Tougher Sentencing After Finn's Law Campaign

The bill was proposed by Conservative MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder.

Kimberley Bond

Kimberley Bond

A Bill calling for tougher punishments for those who are guilty of committing cruelty to animals will receive Royal Assent and become law.

Tory MP Chris Loder, who represents West Dorset, announced the news on Twitter, writing: "My Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill has just completed all Parliamentary stages in both Houses.

The new law will carry tougher sentencing (

"The Bill is now being taken to HM the Queen for Royal Assent. Just ONE DAY away from this important change in law for animals!"

The new law raised the maximum penalty for those guilty of charges related to animal cruelty in England Wales from six months in prison and an unlimited fine, to five years imprisonment.

As animal cruelty is a devolved matter, both the Scottish and Northern Irish governments have their own punishments related to animal cruelty.

Animal cruelty charges carry a maximum five year sentence now (

The Bill, also called Finn's Law, was spearheaded by Dave Wardell and his adorable dog Finn, who both serve as trustees of The Thin Blue Paw foundation - a charity that aims to provide financial support to families who adopt retired police dogs when they leave the force.

Previously a Police Officer, Dave launched the Finn's Law campaign after Finn, an 11-year-old German Shepherd pooch, was stabbed while working.

In October 2016, Finn was protecting Dave from a man wielding a knife when he was stabbed in the head and chest, and almost died.

Part one of Finn's Law urged for more government assistance when looking after service animals such as police dogs like Finn.

Part two of the law was to request harsher sentences on individuals who commit animal cruelty - with the penalty maximum now five years in prison.

Animal cruelty has been recognised as a more serious crime by the government (

In a statement, Dave said: "I'm overjoyed that Finn's Law Part 2, or the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, has passed all of the stages and will be passed into law following Royal assent.

"When this new bill comes into force later this year it'll mean that our beloved animals will be better protected and courts will have greater powers to impose longer prison sentences for those who commit horrific cruelty and abuse.

"I am so thrilled that Finn's traumatic ordeal has paved the way for change and that his legacy will be making a difference in animals' lives for decades to come."

The changes in the law in order to protect more animals come after a petition was served to the government to make dog theft a specific criminal act.

The rise in dog thefts is believed to be driven by the high demand for puppies during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a surge in prices.

Featured Image Credit: Thin Blue Paw

Topics: RSPCA, UK News, Animal Welfare, Animals, Dogs, Puppies