Examination of Witnesses

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:11 am on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water) 10:11 am, 23rd July 2019

Q Thank you. I think the Committee has found that quite helpful in setting it out so clearly. If you were to dropkick—not that you would—a domesticated rabbit, it would be a potential sentence of five years, but the same act on a rabbit in a field could be only six months, even though the harm to the animal might be similar in both instances. Do you feel that the distinction between wild and domestic animals might be used as a legal defence by the people being prosecuted, or is your concern a moral one about the law treating those two scenarios differently?