Tuesday 9 June 2020 / 8:52 AM Animal Welfare / Luke Pollard

Labour calls for action on animal cruelty during the lockdown

Labour has today called for the Government to take action on animal cruelty, with fears that there has been spike due to the lockdown.

Shadow Environment Secretary, Luke Pollard, has written to the Environment Secretary, to pressure the Government to deliver on a long-awaited increase of sentences for those found convicted of animal cruelty.

The RSPCA reported at the end of April that, since the Government announced the lockdown on Monday 23 March, their animal rescuers had already dealt with 21,137 incidents of animal cruelty and suffering animals which needed help.

Due to Parliament sitting for fewer days because of the Coronavirus there is a real risk that the Private Members Bill that would increase prison sentences from the current six months to five years will fall. This is because there are not enough sitting days that will consider private members bills between now and the expected Queen’s Speech in the autumn. Luke Pollard has asked the Government to take control of the existing Private Member’s Bill and adopt it as a Government Bill, to make sure it becomes law.

Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

“Increasing prison sentences for animal cruelty enjoys strong cross-party support but this bill has been delayed and delayed again. With the lockdown making this measure urgent,  we are calling on the Government to ensure this measure becomes law urgently.

“We cannot have more dither and delay – it is our duty to make sure all pets are protected and the Government must act now or more animals will suffer.”