WEST Dorset MP Chris Loder’s bill calling for tougher sentencing for animal cruelty has taken another step forward.
Mr Loder is hopeful of changing the law within the month, as his Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill passed its second reading in the House of Lords last week.
The bill, which completed its passage through the House of Commons in March, increases the maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 tenfold – from six months to up to five years.
Mr Loder said: “We are just a couple of steps away before Her Majesty The Queen gives her Royal Assent for my Bill to become law and to get justice for animals through tougher sentencing for animal cruelty.”
The MP, who is a fourth-generation farmer’s son and an advocate of high animal welfare, is determined to change the law within weeks. It is a race-against-time to get the bill to be signed into law before the Queen’s Speech, which is expected on May 11.
The MP has wide support from cross-party MPs, Defra, the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and other leading animal welfare organisations.