Your View: Animal cruelty

'I am dismayed, as always, by the leniency of the sentences for cruelty to animals'

Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 5:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 5:55 am
RSPCA, a very poorly Saluki-type dog with a broken leg.

Mike Maas

Rivelin

S6

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The RSPCA's quarterly journal always features two pages of court reports. I am dismayed, as always, by the leniency of the sentences for cruelty to animals. Magistrates will say 'But you don't know the details of the case', but their leniency is consistent. I think their fundamental belief is that animal-suffering is unimportant.

In the latest journal we had: Cats suffering in squalor: 10-year ban on keeping any animals and no prison; Dead and dying exotic animals in 'horrific conditions': lifelong ban on keeping any animal; 40 hours' Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; 12 weeks prison but suspended for a year, i.e. behave for a year and you escape prison; Newfoundland dogs left to starve: 5-year ban on dog-keeping only; 4 months prison but suspended for a year.

Admittedly, magistrates work with feeble legislation: our MPs , also, disgracefully, think  animal-suffering is unimportant. It is a welcome improvement that Mr. Gove announced last year that the maximum prison-sentence was to be raised from one year to five.