We need tougher animal cruelty offences

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It is horrifying to hear that 92% of people that are found guilty of animal cruelty avoid prison. The humane treatment of all animals should be a benchmark for any civilised society and it is important that we send out a powerful message that animal cruelty must stop.

At the recent General Election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to increase the maximum sentence available for those convicted of committing animal cruelty. I believe that the Government should ensure that the most serious cases of animal abuse are heard at the Crown Court and that the sentencing should reflect that cruel nature of the crimes.