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Cats Protection's response to new Animal Welfare Bill

24 December 2017
Cats Protection

In response to today’s Government announcement of a new Animal Welfare Bill that will enshrine the sentience of animals in the law and increase the maximum sentences for animal welfare offences from six months to five years, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy and Government Relations, Jacqui Cuff, said:

“Cats Protection welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of its Animal Welfare Bill in which the Government recognises all animals, including cats, as sentient beings. We are also pleased that the Bill will increase the maximum sentence for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 tenfold to five years in England and Wales.

"As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, it is clear to us that cats are sentient and deserving of being treated with kindness and an understanding of their needs. It is right that those that deliberately inflict horrendous crimes on cats such as abandoning, mistreating, shooting or poisoning cats will face stiffer sentences.

"A current high-profile example of these horrific crimes is the reported decapitations and mutilations of cats in the M25 area. We hope that these increased maximum prison sentences will deter those that wish to inflict such pain and suffering on cats in the future.”