DogCast Radio
Home Episodes Articles Blog Breed profiles Book reviews Photos Contact

Battersea wants animal cruelty adequately punished

Leading welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling for punishments for animal cruelty crimes to be taken more seriously, as the Government once again ignored demands for appropriate sentences in its response to a Westminster Committee report on animal welfare released today.

Battersea, which sees many cruelty and neglect cases each year, is disappointed to note the Government, in its response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee’s wide-ranging report on animal welfare, has declined to take forward calls to increase the current maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences to five years. This measure had been welcomed by key organisations in the Committee’s report, which was published on 6 November 2016.

Currently, the maximum sentence in England and Wales is six months in prison, a ban from ownership and a fine in England and Wales – the lowest such sentence in Europe. England and Wales lag far behind most other countries, including Northern Ireland at five years and Scotland at one year.

Battersea’s Chief Executive, Claire Horton, said: “We welcome clarity on Government thinking on animal welfare but it’s disappointing they have failed to take up so many of EFRA’s recommendations. We’re particularly disappointed in their view on animal cruelty sentencing.

“The current sentence for such offences is inadequate, both as a punishment and a deterrent for those who mistreat and neglect animals to the point of unacceptable suffering. This is an issue that Battersea, along with other key animal welfare organisations, has regularly brought to the Government’s attention and we will continue to speak out on the need for sentences which properly fit the crime.

“Animal abusers need to be brought to justice, so we welcome the Government agreeing that the RSPCA should continue investigating and prosecuting such dreadful crimes.”

On another aspect of the Government’s response to EFRA, Battersea confirms it has long campaigned against the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. The Home welcomes the Government’s measures to tackle widespread welfare problems across the puppy trade, such as fully banning the sale of any puppies under eight weeks of age and requiring anybody who sells animals to show their valid licence details.

Claire Horton added: “Whilst Battersea supports the principle behind a ban on third-party sales of puppies, recognising it could help to end the misery brought by the puppy farming industry, it is yet unclear how such a ban could work in practice at this time. Battersea understands the Government’s position that regulation can achieve higher standards but feels more could be done to improve welfare of breeding dogs and their offspring now, if a ban were to be seen as the eventual goal.”

The charity looks forward in the coming months to working with both the Government and the EFRA Committee to improve the quality of the breeding and sale of puppies and kittens.

Comments

Episode 190 - What It's Like to be a Dog and Barking Mad Dog Holidays

Gregory Berns talks about his book What It's Like to be a Dog, which is a thought provoking and fascinating read. Sue Corfield tells us about the dog activity holidays she runs in the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Plus we've rounded up some happy stories for the DogCast Radio News.

Episode 189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

Episode 188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

Episode 187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

Episode 186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.

Episode 185 - Doggie Food Bank and Animal Naturopath Lyndall Pinchen

In this show you can hear naturopath Lyndall Pinchen describe her natural approach to helping your dog live healthily, and how you can deal with parasites and vaccinations. Listen to the inspiring story of how Julie Austin started Doggie Food Bank after a homeless woman asked for help feeding her dog. Plus the DogCast Radio News, and the latest developments with Buddy.

Episode 184 - Galen Myotherapy for dogs

Galen Myotherapy was founded by Julia Robertson in 2002, and in this show you can hear Julia talking about how the therapy works, how it allows dogs to choose to participate or not, and how letting the body heal itself is essential. You can also listen in to a therapy session.