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Horses: Animal Welfare

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 19799, tabled on 24 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if will he bring forward legislative proposals to strengthen the protection of horses from cruel treatment.

Answered on

27 February 2020

The Government takes animal welfare very seriously and have committed to introducing tougher sentences for animal cruelty. We are supporting the recently introduced Private Member’s Bill – the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill - which seeks to increase the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty, including cruelty against horses, from six months’ imprisonment to five years’ imprisonment. In addition, such offenders can already be banned from owning or keeping animals for as long as the court sees fit. Local authorities have powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to investigate concerns about the ill-treatment or neglect of animals, and any person or organisation, such as the RSPCA, can take forward a private prosecution under the 2006 Act.

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