animal cruelty

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is once again calling for tougher sentencing for animal cruelty after Jamie Weir, 21, from Wirral, was jailed for only 24 weeks for killing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Jack, belonging to his former partner’s mother. The sentence seems little more than a slap on the wrist for such a gruesome act: Weir stabbed Jack repeatedly before burning him alive and burying him in a shallow grave.

Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton said, “The details of this case are so sickening I am shocked and appalled beyond words. This absolutely inhumane and depraved treatment of a defenceless animal is wholly unacceptable and this is why Battersea is calling for tougher sentences for people who treat animals in this way.

“Jack suffered terribly at Weir’s hands before facing an awful death. For these truly horrendous offences, less than six months is not a just sentence, and yet in cases like this six months is the maximum that can be handed out under current laws.”

England and Wales’ current maximum sentence of six months for animal cruelty is the lowest across Europe, the United States and Australia. The little importance given to animal cruelty is even more worrying in the light of the growing evidence of links between animal cruelty and violent crimes against people.

“Current penalties are neither a punishment nor a deterrent – we’re proposing a much tougher maximum sentence of five years for the most severe cases, which would give the courts more flexibility when handing down appropriate punishments,” Claire said. “Our campaign has had incredible support and I know the public want to join us so we can make our voice heard for animals like Jack. Now the Government needs to listen.”

More information on Battersea’s campaign to increase sentences for animal cruelty can be found here.


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