I am backing a campaign for tougher punishments for people who abuse animals.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has highlighted the "unacceptably low" penalties for cruelty and neglect offences, and I am joining calls for the maximum sentence to be raised to five years in prison.
People may be aware that I am a proud animal lover with an eight-year-old Norwich Terrier called Star.
It is unacceptable that people can abuse animals and get away with such a small penalty. It sickens me to hear of cases of abuse. We must have tougher sentences for the despicable people who harm these helpless creatures.
Claire Horton, Battersea's chief executive, told me: "It isn't acceptable that our courts are unable to hand out tougher sentences in such extreme animal cruelty cases, yet the likes of fly-tipping can result in prison sentences of up to five years.
"Let's get this into proportion and let the punishment for abusing animals truly fit the crime."
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