A new law has been introduced this week which makes it a specific offence to cause unnecessary suffering to service animals such as police dogs and horses.
Attackers will now receive much tougher sentences when they are hauled before the courts. Previously, injury to police animals was treated as criminal damage, as if the animals were nothing more than property.
Finn’s Law – named after a service German Shepherd that was stabbed by a man with a knife in 2016 – means that self-defence can no longer be used as an argument when a person is accused of crimes against service animals.
The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill came into force yesterday, Saturday 8th June.
Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, has said: ”This law is about giving our service animals the protection they deserve as they dedicate their lives to keeping us safe.
”I am committed to making the UK the best place in the world for the care and protection of animals”.
More than 100 service animals have been injured across the country in the past seven years.
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