I am delighted that Finn’s Law has progressed to the next legislative stage following its passing of Committee Stage on 16 January 2019.
The Service Animals (Protections) Bill, which is more commonly known as Finn’s Law, has been produced by a cross-party group of MPs following a callous attack on police dog Finn. This resulted in a growing number of people calling for a law to be put in place that increases sentencing and provides a stronger deterrent against future attacks on police animals.
Finn was extensively stabbed in the chest in course of his duty, in trying to apprehend a suspect and protect PC Dave Wardell, who suffered an injury too. Finn made a great recovery and returned to service. However, it was only possible to charge the accused with criminal damage – treating Finn as an object, or with animal cruelty which fails adequately to take account of his service duties. Read more “Finn’s Law passes Committee Stage”
As many of you know a cross-party effort has been underway to ensure that emergency service animals are given protections in law against attacks. Currently, if they are harmed they are treated with the same rights as a broken window in law.
Following the question from another member in the Commons I wanted to seek assurances that the Government would support this Bill. I was disappointed to hear that the Government minister could not give that assurance.
I have met with the Justice Minister alongside a cross-party group of MPs to put the case for Finn’s Law to be introduced.
Recently, a callous attack on police dog Finn took place and this has resulted in a growing number of people calling for a law to be put in place that increases sentencing and provides a stronger deterrent against future attacks on police animals.
The aim of the Bill, which has been given the full title of ‘The Service Animals Offences Bill’, is to create offences of attacking service animals in the course of their duty. This is something that already happens in Canada and other countries so the UK must now catch up.
This Bill has cross-party support. The Ten Minute Rule Bill, which was read on the 5 December 2017, was allowed by the House to move to second stage of the legislative process. Although Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely get the time to go through all legislative stages the unanimity of the House’s decision is a perfect way to garner government support for the Bill. Read more “Finn’s Law: meeting with the minister”
Finn’s Law – which I am a co-sponsor of – hopes to bring about a new criminal charge for those who attack or kill service animals. Currently, service animals – such as police dogs – are treated as property and therefore when a case is brought forward it is considered on the financial value of the animal and not any other measure. These animals often will undertake tasks that humans cannot or will not.
Recently, Finn’s Law was introduced to the House but the minister instructed for it to be blocked. I wanted a decent explanation as to why this sensible measures, which has cross-party support, was blocked.