I fully support the Gwent Badger Group‘s call for tougher sentencing for perpetrators of animal cruelty following recent incidences of wildlife crime in Gwent.
In June two men from Gwent pleaded guilty to six joint offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Deer Act 1991 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 involving cruelty to badgers, deer and boar. The crimes involved extreme cruelty – including killing and maiming badgers – and both individuals were sentenced to between 20-22 weeks of immediate custody, given lifetime bans on keeping dogs and two year driving bans.
Steve Clark from the Gwent Badger Group has rightly highlighted that the barbaric act of badger baiting does not happen as a result of simple ignorance or neglect, but it is a premeditated intention to inflict torture on and then kill a wild animal for some perverse gratification.
Those who have read the harrowing details of the recent abuse of badgers and other wildlife in Gwent and the Forest of Dean will have been appalled both by the horrendous abuse and torture of innocent animals, and the leniency of the sentencing available to courts: https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/…/17723025.two-men-jaile…/
We need to send out a strong signal that animal abuse – whether it involves domestic, farmed or wild animals – is unacceptable in civilised society. Consequently, we must ensure that tougher sentencing is available to bring the perpetrators of abuse, including badger baiters and those who contravene the ban on fox hunting, to justice.
Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan, published last year, commits my party to enshrining the principle of animal sentience in law, covering all policy areas to prevent practices that expose animals to cruel and degrading treatment. It also contains a pledge to increase the maximum sentences for those convicted of animal cruelty. I wholeheartedly support these policies.
For more information on the Gwent Badger Group visit http://www.gwentbadgergroup.org.uk.
Thank you to Steve Clark for allowing me to use his wonderful pictures here.