Legislative Proposal to Increase Sentencing Powers for Cruelty to Nonhuman Animals: Taken with a Pinch of Salt

Oliver A. Wookey
2018 Derecho Animal Forum of Animal Law Studies  
Environment Secretary for the British Government Michael Gove has announced his plan to increase the current maximum sentence that can be awarded to animal abuse offenders from six months to five years. In this critical analysis of the proposal, I will firstly outline the legislative proposal in terms of its aims, and then follow by providing statistics and referring to the most abhorrent cases of cruelty to demonstrate unequivocally the need for the proposal to be implemented. Following this,
more » ... d. Following this, I will set out the positions of two major relevant stakeholders in response to the proposal: the League Against Cruel Sports, and the RSPCA. I will then proceed to commend the proposal as an important step forward for nonhuman animal welfare, especially given the increasing acknowledgement of the link between violence toward humans and toward nonhuman animals. I will then turn, however, to the two issues that I identify with the proposal and the context within which it has been introduced; firstly, that it highlights our pretension for protecting the welfare of companion animals while simultaneously contributing to the suffering of other animals that are also sentient beings; secondly, that recent Conservative party policies concerning nonhuman animals have been inimical to their welfare and, for this reason, the proposal must be taken with a pinch of salt. Resumen. Propuesta legislativa para aumentar los poderes de condena por crueldad hacia los animales no humanos. Analizado con reservas. El ministro del Medio Ambiente del gobierno Británico Michael Gove, ha hecho pública su propuesta de aumentar la pena máxima actual, para culpables de abuso animal, de seis meses a cinco años. En este análisis se critica la propuesta, empezaré por detallar la propuesta legislativa con respecto a sus objetivos y después, a través de unas estadísticas, subrayaré los casos de crueldad más aborrecibles que demuestran inequívocamente la necesidad de implementar la propuesta. A continuación, presentaré las posturas de dos de los responsables
doi:10.5565/rev/da.249 fatcat:fhebzv2tovharm2jdix7ezfiuu