Examination of Witnesses

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:31 am on 23rd July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Michael Flower:

I certainly hope so. To my mind, one of the great drives behind the Bill is to try to deter people from committing those offences. I go back a few years working for the RSPCA, and one of the main drives we had for bringing in the welfare offence at the time of the original Act was to introduce to English law preventive measures to stop animals being caused to suffer. The RSPCA is about preventing cruelty, not prosecuting it. We will prosecute it where offences are committed, but we want to prevent it. I hope that, if there is a five-year custodial sentence, that will act as a deterrent. It seems to me that there is a huge difference between an offender serving a 16-week custodial sentence, as is the case at present, and serving two and a half years. That must make some difference to some people, and it can only be beneficial.