Pets and Wildlife: Crime

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 28 March 2024.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle the use of catapults to (a) kill and (b) maim (i) wildlife and (ii) pets.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government takes crimes against wildlife and against pets seriously, including those involving the use of catapults. Under provisions in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 and Animal Welfare Act 2006, there are a range of offences around deliberate attempts to kill, injure or inflict harm on wildlife and in the event that a member of the public believes such an offence has taken place, they are encouraged to report the matter to the police so they can investigate. In particular where pets are concerned, it is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to cause an animal any unnecessary suffering. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 realises the Government’s manifesto commitment to increase the sentences available to our courts for the most serious cases of animal cruelty by increasing the maximum penalty for this offence to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

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