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UK Animal cruelty laws ‘too lenient’ claims survey

EIGHTY PER CENT of Britons say that laws to punish animal cruelty are too lenient and 51% are calling for crimes against animals to carry the same punishment as crimes against people according to research by ICM for Halifax Pet Insurance.

The Halifax research comes as Britain gets to grips with the concept of a duty of care imposed on animal owners by the new Scottish and forthcoming English and Welsh Animal Welfare Bills.

Only 1% of the population would turn a blind eye if they suspected someone was mistreating an animal. The vast majority (84%) would tell the police or RSPCA and 15% would approach them directly to deal with the matter.

Vicky Watson, products manager, at Halifax Pet Insurance, said: ‘Britain is a nation of pet lovers and simply won't tolerate cruelty to animals. So with incidents of animal cruelty rising many Britons are keen to enforce stricter punishment on those who inflict cruelty on defenceless animals.’

There are some regional differences in attitude towards animal cruelty. Those in Northern England feel most strongly about the issue, 84% of them do not think that people who mistreat animals receive sufficient penalties. Those in the Wales and the South feel least passionately with 76%.