A Sheffield MP has taken the case of a hedgehog that had its spines cut off in a cruel attack all the way to parliament.
The abused animal, named Frankie by carers, was discovered by a maintenance man in student accommodation at Sheffield University. He had his spines cut off with scissors.
Angela Smith, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge called for increased protection for hedgehogs.
Ms Smith said: “In the middle of all the work I’ve done on the steel industry recently and local transport I received a phone call from a distraught couple who run a hedgehog rescue centre in my constituency.
“They are currently nursing back to health a hedgehog found in Sheffield the other week whose spines had been cut off by a pair of scissors.
“Now, they expressed to me their frustration that the perpetrators of this wicked act are very unlikely to be brought to justice.
“Can we have a debate, not only on the need to extend and increase the population of hedgehogs... but also on the need to increase protection for these wonderful creatures?”
The leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling said the incident was ‘utterly unacceptable’ as he urged the relevant authorities to take the matter ‘very seriously’.
He said: What I would say to you is the law does allow prosecution of people who have committed those offences and I certainly would hope in a case like the one of that hedgehog, if the perpetrators could be found they would be prosecuted.
“Of course that’s a matter for the independent prosecution authorities but I would certainly urge them to take that issue very seriously.”
He said the Government would continue to look at ways to ensure there is ‘proper protection for animals in our society’.