News In Focus
Animal charity calls for tougher penalties for abuse
Penalties for cruelty to animals are "alarmingly low", and the Scottish Parliament should act to raise them, according to a prominent animal charity.
Research by the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has revealed that maximum penalties in Scotland, along with those in England & Wales, are among the lowest in Europe, being 12 months in Scotland and only six months south of the border.
This compares with five years in both parts of Ireland, three years in Germany and 24 months in France. The charity is calling on MSPs to follow Ireland's lead.
Pointing to the case of a Staffordshire bull terrier tied to a piece of concrete and left to drown in a Lanarkshire pond in 2015, director Dee McIntosh commented: "Nobody was convicted and even if they had been, is it right that they'd have received less time in jail for drowning that dog than for dumping commercial litter?"