Animal abusers to face up to five years behind bars for worst crimes - is it enough?

The maximum jail sentence is set to be increased. But do you think it goes high enough?
The maximum jail sentence is set to be increased. But do you think it goes high enough?

Tougher punishments are being introduced for those who commit the worst animal cruelty offences.

While many have backed the proposals to increase the maximum jail sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years, some readers have taken to our social media pages to say it is still not enough.

Members of the public and animal welfare groups alike backed proposals but forward by Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, for sentences to be increased. The move came after a number of cases in which courts said they would have handed down longer sentences if they were available.

Claire Horton, chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, welcomed the move. The home had been vocal in the campaign for tougher sentencing.

She added: "We believe a five-year maximum sentence is far more appropriate and, to the credit of the Government, they have listened.

Read more: Worst animal abusers could face five years in prison under plans for tougher punishments

"We look forward to seeing the Bill laid before Parliament this year."

The draft consultation for the Animal Welfare Bill went out in December, and measures relating to sentencing are expected to go before Parliament later this year.