Animal cruelty sentencing guidelines
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Proposals to update sentencing guidelines for animal cruelty offences in England and Wales have been published by the Sentencing Council, following changes introduced by the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. Courts will have a new guideline for the most serious offences after parliament increased the maximum penalty for these offences from six months to five years’ custody. The offences may now be tried in both magistrates’ and the Crown Court to reflect the increased penalty, and the proposed guideline for serious offences will apply in both courts.