Finn’s Law has become a reality after more than two years of campaigning.
The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, which makes it an offence to harm service animals, has been given Royal approval by The Queen.
This law aims to increase protection to service animals through an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
This change allow a court, in certain circumstances, to disregard a defendant’s claim that they were protecting themselves and so were justified in using physical force against a service animal, causing it, effectively, necessary suffering.
The announcement was made in the House of Lords late last night. The Bill will now be known as the ‘Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019.’
It comes after a tireless campaign by now-retired Police Dog Finn and his handler PC Dave Wardell, who were both stabbed whilst on duty in Stevenage back in 2016.
PD Finn needed emergency life-saving surgery after being slashed with a large knife following a foot pursuit.
The hard work of the dedicated ‘Finns Law’ team paid off and at the end of 2017, the Government announced plans to increase maximum sentences for animal abusers from six months to five years.
This was followed in August 2018 by the introduction of a Bill to recognise service animals within the law, which passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
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