Tougher sentencing

Increase in maximum sentence for animal abusers

The Scottish SPCA would like to see the current maximum jail sentence for animal abusers increased from 12 months to 5 years.

As a reporting agency to the Crown Office we are proud of the accomplishments we have made bringing successful convictions against those who commit animal cruelty. However, whilst we have seen 74 successful cases in 2016, the sentences being handed out are hugely inconsistent.

From receiving small three year bans from owning animals, to £180 fines and community service, it is our belief that these sentences should act as a deterrent to potential criminals. We therefore strongly urge the Scottish Government to consider more consistent and tougher penalties for those who commit horrendous acts of animal cruelty.

We accept that any sentence is always at the discretion of the sheriff, however, increasing the maximum jail sentence from 12 months to 5 years will give sheriffs far great options.

Jail time is not always the answer and we understand the benefit of bans and community service. However, the potential of a 5 year custodial sentence will act as a larger deterrent than the current 12 month maximum.Dog In Bin

An increase in the number of lifetime bans being given would also be welcomed as we believe owning animals should be a privilege and not a right. Currently there are inconsistencies with the length of ban animal abusers are given, if any.

We want to bring animal cruelty to an end and this change will help make that possible.

Preventing cruelty right here in Scotland

We are unique among animal welfare organisations and charities in the UK in being a reporting agency to the Crown Office. This means that our inspectors are authorised to enforce the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

In 2016 our investigations led to:

  • 33 Bans on keeping animals, including five life bans
  • 25 Fines, totalling £12,210
  • Three jail sentences
  • 13 Community Payback Orders

We are determined to seek justice for animals that have been abused, abandoned and neglected. Please help us get there.

How can you help?

Like us, if you feel strongly on this issue we would urge you to contact your MSP.

For further information on your MSP click here or visit:

http://www.parliament.scot/msps/current-msps.aspx

Dog rescued by the Scottish SPCA with new family

Please help

You can help save abused, abandoned and injured animals in Scotland by making a monthly donation to the Scottish SPCA