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Finn’s Law gets go ahead in Scotland

Issue: 04/10/2019

Finn’s Law, the legislation to make attacks on service dogs a specific crime, is to be introduced in Scotland.
It became enforceable in England in June. In August the first man was prosecuted under the law after he stabbed a police dog in the head and nearly blinded him.
The Scottish Government announced its intention to bring in the measure as part of its Programme for Government.
They also announced that they plan to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences to five years.
The House of Commons was also going to introduce legislation to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences in England but it fell due to the prorogation of Parliament.
This is just the latest success in the Finn’s Law campaign which was started by PC Dave Wardell after he was attacked along with his Police Dog Finn in the line of duty.
He could not believe that there was no protection in law for his dog after the incident. Finn suffered serious injury at the hands of the assailant and PC Wardell set out to change the law.
It is a journey that has seen the pair appear in the final of TV’s Britain’s Got Talent and saw them win the Friends for Life competition at Crufts this year.
Campaigners for Finn’s Law tweeted, ‘Now #FinnsLawScotland is in the legislative process we are hoping it will be received warmly by the Scottish Parliament when it goes to debate. 
‘We also remind you that our goal is not yet achieved. #FinnsLawNI still needs your support.’
Scotland’s minister for rural affairs, Mairi Gougeon, said, ‘Like so many of our service animals, Finn selflessly put himself in the way of danger in order to protect us and was very nearly killed in the process.
‘Thankfully he survived and, after some equally tenacious campaigning from Dave, they were able to have the law changed in England to provide service animals with the protection they deserve.
‘This week’s programme for government announced that the Scottish government is set to create new legislation to further protect animals and wildlife, which will include an increase in the maximum available penalties for the worst offences, and includes implementing Finn’s Law.’

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