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Scotland introduces five-year prison sentences for animal cruelty
Prison sentences for the most serious animal welfare and wildlife offences have been increased in Scotland from 12 months to five years.

New Animal Welfare Bill will also implement Finn’s Law

Prison sentences for the most serious animal welfare and wildlife offences have been increased in Scotland from 12 months to five years.

Announced as part of the new Animal and Wildlife Bill, the move will also see the introduction of Finns’ Law in Scotland, giving greater protection for service animals by preventing those who attack them from claiming self-defence.


“We want to continue to have the highest standards of welfare for our animals and to have the most robust and proportionate penalties available,” said Scotland’s rural affairs minister, Mairi Gougeon.


“Through increasing the maximum penalties available for the most serious animal welfare and wildlife offences, we are ensuring that those who carry out these heinous acts will rightly face the full force of the law, as and where appropriate.”


She continued: “We also want to see more protection given to service animals such as police dogs and horses, so we will be enacting what has become known as Finn’s law. I believe it is only right that animals which work to keep us safe should be given the fullest protection we can give them in return.


“Animal welfare is a subject I feel very passionately about, and call on stakeholders and parliament to support these bold steps to further improve Scotland’s high animal welfare standards.”


Scottish SPCA chief executive Kirsteen Campbell welcomed the move, adding: “These exciting changes have the potential to be transformational for animals across the country and the Scottish SPCA.


“The power to re-home animals without a court order would be of massive benefit to their welfare. All receive incredible care from our expert teams, but this is no substitute for a loving home,” she said.

“Prosecution is a last resort for the Society, but we have long felt the penalties for animal cruelty are too lenient and inconsistent. We hope increasing the options available to Sheriffs will lead to fewer people mistreating animals in the first place.”

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."