Clive and a number of Labour MPs attended to support the bill, but Conservative MPs deliberately talked out or ‘filibustered’ an earlier bill to use up parliamentary time and prevent the animal cruelty bill being debated. The Tory Whips also objected to the bill progressing in the dying seconds of the debate. The Bill will be back on the agenda for Friday 24th March but as it is the last Friday of the session there are dozens of government bills and it’s unlikely to be heard.
The bill, presented by Labour MP Anna Turley, would have increased the maximum sentence available for animal cruelty cases in England and Wales from 6 months to five years, in line with Northern Ireland.
The timing of the bill coincided with a recent report published by Battersea Dogs Home entitled “Sentencing for Animal Cruelty in England and Wales” as part of their campaign to increase the maximum custodial sentence for the most serious cases of cruelty from six months to five years. The report contrasts the six month maximum sentence with those handed out for the crimes of fly tipping and theft, which can receive maximum sentences of five and seven years imprisonment.