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Animal Cruelty/RSPCA Prosecutions

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Whether you are facing a penalty for animal cruelty as the result of a police investigation or RSPCA prosecutions, the animal welfare solicitors at DPP Law will be able to assist you.

We understand the complexity and emotive nature of cases of this kind and will work closely with you to collect evidence and build your defence. We’ll also help you to communicate with the RSPCA and advise you about the best course of action.

Because RSPCA powers are lesser than those of the police, their requests and demands are not enforceable by law and you are under no obligation to answer any questions they may put to you.

However, they are able to prosecute you privately if they believe there is sufficient evidence to do so. At this stage, animal cruelty solicitors may be able to help you fight your corner.

An individual or company who is accused of animal cruelty is likely to suffer considerable damage to their reputation as a result of the public interest in cases of this kind.

If you are accused of the mistreatment of animals, the prosecution process will vary depending on the body to which you have been reported. Usually, this will be either the police or the RSPCA. It’s important to know your rights in cases of either kind.

Sentences for the abuse of animals can be severe. Making contact with animal welfare solicitors will enable you to effectively defend yourself against any allegations.

Whether you work with livestock, domestic animals or wildlife, our animal cruelty solicitors will do everything in our power to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your business.

You may face police or RSPCA prosecutions if you are suspected of:

  • Causing unnecessary suffering or permitting suffering to be caused to an animal
  • Poisoning protected animals
  • Carrying out or causing a prohibited procedure to be carried out on an animal (e.g. mutilation)
  • Any involvement in the illegal use of animals such as dog fighting
  • Neglect of animals, or the failure to take reasonable to ensure the needs of an animal for which you are responsible

DPP Law’s animal rights solicitors are aware that accusations of animal cruelty can often be made falsely as the result of a dispute, or by a well meaning individual with little understanding of the real situation or circumstances.

In cases of this kind, it’s extremely important for those facing prosecution to seek assistance from our animal cruelty solicitors as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of animal cruelty?

Police or RSPCA powers of investigation, confiscation or prosecution may be called upon if a person is believed to be guilty of any of the following behaviours amounting to animal cruelty:

  • Causing an animal to suffer unnecessarily
  • Poisoning an animal
  • Mutilating an animal
  • Involvement in organised animal fighting
  • Neglecting an animal

What constitutes animal cruelty?

A2: Animal cruelty is the failure to provide for the “Five Welfare Needs” of domestic animals or livestock as laid out by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. These are:

  • The need for a suitable environment
  • The need for a suitable diet
  • The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • The need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

You do not have to actively engage in the injury or abuse of an animal for which you are responsible to be prosecuted – neglect of the above needs is enough see you investigated and taken to court.

Members of the public are eager to protect animals and wildlife, and may occasionally report individuals or companies for cruelty without being aware of the entire situation. In these cases, engaging expert animal cruelty solicitors will enable you to provide investigators or hearing panels with proof that you provide suitable care.

What is the punishment for animal cruelty in the UK?

The maximum penalty for animal cruelty has recently been extended to five years. Perpetrators may also be fined and banned from keeping animals for a period of time specified by the court. The severity of the potential punishments involved means that as soon as you become aware that you have been reported to the RSPCA or the police, making contact with animal rights solicitors should be a matter of urgency.

DPP Law’s animal cruelty solicitors will work closely with you, going through evidence including mobile phone footage and images and speaking to witnesses in order to help you provide a clearer picture of your treatment of the animals in question.

To find out more about how DPP Law can help you, get in touch with our specialist animal welfare solicitors today.

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