People who abuse animals could now face up to five years in prison after the government introduced new sentencing rules yesterday.
Tougher prison sentences for animal cruelty are set to come into force this summer after the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill was passed into law on Thursday, meaning that the maximum prison sentence for people who abuse animals will be raised from six months to five years from 29 June 2021.
The new maximum penalty will enable courts to take a firmer approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, illegally cropping a dog’s ears and gross neglect of farm animals, and as well as a prison sentence – with the more stringent sentences set to be some of the toughest in Europe – offenders can also receive an unlimited fine.
The government said in a statement yesterday that the act will help ensure courts are able to enforce extended penalties for those who cruelly mistreat any animal, sending a clear message that “animal cruelty will not be tolerated”.
The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act is set to cover both England and Wales.
Over the last three years, the RSPCA has secured 4,103 convictions in the courts in England and Wales and 156 individuals received immediate prison terms.
Speaking on the passing of the new bill, Chris Sherwood – Chief Executive at RSPCA – said: “This act is a huge step forward for animal welfare in the UK and we’re delighted that justice will now be served for animals.
“Tougher sentences will act as a stronger deterrent to potential animal abusers and will help us in our aim to cancel out animal cruelty once and for all”.
He added: “This reform is long overdue.
“For many years, the most violent and horrific abuse and cruelty received a maximum penalty of just a few months [so] we’re proud to have some of the best standards of animal welfare in the world, but custodial sentences have long been letting us down.
“Every year, our officers are faced with cases of the most unimaginable cruelty – animals beaten, stabbed, shot and burned, unwanted or elderly pets being drowned, wild animals shot with crossbows or set on fire, gangs forcing cockerels to fight to the death and breeders cutting off puppies’ ears to make them look tough.
“Since the bill was introduced, animals have been starved, shot, stabbed, beaten to death and drowned [but] at least now, in those cases that leave us heartbroken, our courts will be able to hand out sentences that truly reflect the severity of the crimes”.
MP Chris Loder said: “HM The Queen has signed my Bill into law.
“Those who are cruel to animals can now go to prison for 5 years. It has taken years of hard work to realise this – thank you to all involved.
The campaign for our animals continues [and] banning live exports and non-stunned slaughter next”.
This Manchester restaurant is serving a Sunday roast with bottomless drinks
When it comes to Sunday roasts, by and large they’re pretty damn hard to beat. A catch-all plate loaded with your favourite meat and vegetables, drenched in gravy and topped with a fluffy Yorkshire pudding, what’s not to love?
Hands down this would be our death row meal every time. There’s simply no competition. So when we heard that a restaurant in Manchester has just launched a Sunday roast with bottomless drinks we felt the news was way too good not to share. After all, hot foodies don’t gatekeep.
Let’s be honest, we all love a good drink with our roast anyway – and now The Oast House has gone and made it that much more affordable.
Starting from 12pm on a Sunday, you can get 90 minutes of unlimited prosecco, a range of different spritzes and pints of lager here with your roast dinner for an extra £15.
The roast itself is priced at two courses for £18.50 or three for £22.50, with main choices including gorgeously pink-looking roast beef and lamb, plus chicken, crispy pork belly and a chestnut, mushroom and red lentil roast.
All come served with mustard glazed carrots, red cabbage, Tenderstem broccoli, roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy – plus the option to add on crispy onion-topped Shorrocks Lancashire cauliflower cheese for an extra £2.50.
Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find the likes of scotch eggs with picalilli, pea hummus, wings and calamari to whet your appetite as starters.
In the pudding section, meanwhile, there is a host of tempting options: ranging from a rose and hibiscus poached peach and pistachio cheesecake, to cookie dough loaded with Oreos and vanilla icecream.
Further pudding choices include a mouthwatering lemon tart served with raspberry sorbet and crushed honeycomb, a vegan-friendly dark chocolate and peanut butter pot with Biscoff crumb and caramelised banana, and everyone’s favourite: a sticky toffee pudding with rich toffee sauce and icecream on the side.
Bottomless drinks options will set you back £15 per person and can be enjoyed by the whole table up to a maximum of six, with spritz choices spanning Aperol, raspberry, blood orange or elderflower.