During this morning’s oral questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Grahame Morris MP asked about the Department’s plans to increase the penalties for animal welfare offences.

Victoria Prentis MP, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that the Government is committed to increase the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty from six months to five years, and fully backs the Animal Welfare Sentencing Bill.

Mr Morris went on to mention some concerning reports of animal cruelty in the constituency, and asked whether the Minister would go further, and provide a guarantee that the maximum five year sentences for the worst offences of animal cruelty would be on the Statute Book by January 2021. The Minister would not give a guarantee, but said that the second reading of the Bill, which will take place next month, is fully supported by the Government.

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