WEST Dorset MP Chris Loder has introduced the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, known as ‘Loder’s Law’, in the House of Commons.
The Private Members’ Bill makes provision for the maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be increased from six months to up to five years.
The MP, who is a farmer’s son and an advocate of high animal welfare, says his own dog Poppy, a springer spaniel, was part of his inspiration for the bill.
Poppy was cruelly abandoned at the roadside in West Dorset but is now a much-loved farm dog and family pet.
He said: “Despite legislation being in place, I was shocked to learn that in 2019 the RSPCA investigated more than 130,700 complaints of cruelty against animals and secured 1,678 convictions.
“I believe more stringent sentencing will act as a greater deterrent against animal cruelty.
“Britain needs to take a lead on global standards for animal welfare. We are renowned to be a nation of animal lovers – now let’s prove that by handing down appropriate penalties to those who bring unnecessary suffering to animals.”
The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons and will now move to the House of Lords.
If passed, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent.