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Blue Cross calls on government to honour promise to punish animal abusers

Representatives from animal welfare organisations stand outside 10 Downing Street and look towards the camera. A Lakeland terrier called Jet joins them front centre of shot.

Blue Cross has today called on the government to stand by its promise to increase prison sentences for animal cruelty.

Standing alongside other leading animal welfare organisations on the steps of 10 Downing Street, we reiterated our plea for the government to introduce proper deterrents to stop people from committing animal abuse.

Steve Goody, Blue Cross Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, said: “Sadly, at Blue Cross we know all too well the pain dogs, cats, small pets and horses are subjected to by animal abusers and our dedicated teams work so hard to help pets overcome the physical and mental trauma they have suffered. We have nursed pets who should have been loved but instead have been deliberately burned, tied up in rubbish bags and left to die, thrown out of moving cars, beaten and starved. This must stop.

“The government promised to increase sentencing for animal abusers 18 months ago but we are still waiting. We believe long prison sentences will act as a deterrent to prevent people causing harm to animals, and the government must now get on and act on its promise.”

Joining Blue Cross and organisations including the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA was Jet, a Lakeland terrier shot in the head four times and left for dead by the ex-boyfriend of his previous owner. Miraculously, Jet survived but his hearing and vision were both affected, and he needed £5,000 of veterinary treatment to nurse him back to health.

The RSPCA launched an investigation and traced the man responsible for the brutal injuries. Earlier this month, a 37-year-old man was found guilty at trial of causing unnecessary suffering to Jet (an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006) and sentenced to 200 hours of community service, ordered to pay more than £1,600 in costs and disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years.

Currently the courts can sentence animal abusers to a maximum of six months in prison. The government has promised to increase this to five years.