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Posted: 17th June 2021

Animal offenders to face fines of up to £5,000
The Bill complements the Government's Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
Government backs bill to introduce financial penalty system for animal welfare.

The Government is backing a new bill which intends to protect animals by ensuring that animal offenders face tougher penalties.

Following the Government's landmark Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, the Penalty Notices Bill, introduced by Andrew Rosindell (MP), will create a system in which those who commit offences against animals can be issued a financial penalty of up to £5000. These penalties could include on-the-spot fines, and these van be issued to individuals who have abused or mistreated pets, zoo animals, and livestock. 

The new penalties that this bill brings in will provide the authorities with an additional enforcement measure which can be used alongside warnings and criminal prosecution, and will introduce a more consistent and targeted approach to protecting the welfare of animals. 

Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, who is introducing the bill, said: "In my 20 years as an MP. I have consistently fought for animal welfare. Society should rightly be judged by how it treats the animals in its care but for many years, E.U. regulations limited the improvements that could be made.

“Now that we have left the E.U. we have an unrivalled opportunity to make the changes that are so desperately needed. That means stronger sentences for the worst animal abusers under Chris Loder's historic legislation. 

“It also means ensuring there are no gaps in legislation that animal abusers can exploit, by committing offences too severe for a warning, but not severe enough for prosecution. My Bill will close that gap, creating fines of up to £5,000 while always being clear that criminal prosecution will always be used for the most serious offences."

Chief executive of the RSPCA, Chris Sherwood, commented: “Fixed penalty notices are really useful to quickly combat suffering of farmed animals, horses and animals kept in zoos.

“We are pleased that enforcement bodies will be given powers and revenue from these fines in order to safeguard animal welfare should this bill become law. We hope these enforcement notices will serve as a good deterrent to those causing suffering to animals and also an important education tool to prevent them repeating their mistakes in the future.

“These penalties, used in conjunction with tougher sentences which are coming into force soon, will provide better safeguards for all animals. We wholeheartedly support Andrew Rosindell’s Bill, are pleased to see it has Government backing and hope it progresses through parliament quickly.”

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