Farmers now face £5,000 fine for offences against animals

Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

live animal exports
Farmers who fail to properly care for livestock could now face fines up to £5,000, under legislation that became law today (Thursday, April 28).

The newly passed Animals (Penalty Notices) Act applies to all individuals who fail to care rightly for pets, zoo animals and livestock.

For example, under the legislation fines could be handed out by enforcement authorities to pet breeders who fail to microchip puppies before being rehomed; to horse owners tethering their animal in a way that neglects their basic needs; or to a farmer transporting livestock that are not fit for travel.

Welcoming the Royal Assent of the Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill, MP for Romford Andrew Rosindell, who introduced the bill said:

“Today, my Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill became law after receiving royal assent from Her Majesty The Queen.

“Individuals who commit offences against animals will now face fines of up to £5,000. This Act of Parliament will enable fines to be introduced to ensure that offenders face tougher penalties for crimes in addition to the existing maximum five-year prison sentence for the most serious offences.

“This is an absolutely right step forward to ensure that our legislation protecting animals is the strongest anywhere in the world,” he continued.

“It has been an honour to work with animal welfare charities including the RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] and the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in ensuring the bill strikes the right balance in closing the gap between the worst offences, and those which receive no punishment.

“I look forward to working with colleagues and the government to further strengthen our protections for animals.”

New legislation

Two more pieces of animal-protection legislation reached Royal Assent today: The Glue Traps (Offences) Act and the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill.

The former bans the use of inhumane glue traps, which are a widely available method of rodent control but can cause immense suffering; wildlife and domestic pets can also get stuck to the traps.

It allows exception where licences to use glue traps are issued to professional pest controllers – on an exceptional basis. The ban will come into force in the next two years.

The second will create a new Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts from within the field. This committee will hold government to account on how well their decisions have taken account of the welfare of sentient animals, publishing reports that Ministers need to respond to in Parliament.

Animal welfare minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said:

“We are a nation of animal lovers and the passing of today’s legislation is a significant moment for the health and welfare of the country’s animals,” said Minister of State with responsibility for animal welfare, Lord Zac Goldsmith on today’s passings.

“The UK, since leaving the EU, has been able to further strengthen its position as a global leader on animal rights. The penalty notice measures being introduced today will act as a powerful deterrent, building on measures we have already taken such as increasing prison sentences for cruelty offences.

“We will also be protecting wildlife and domestic pets from falling victim to inhumane glue traps, and we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to put animal sentience provisions into law.

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...