Animal Cruelty is defined simply as the human infliction of suffering or harm, upon any non-human animal, for purposes other than self-defense or survival. This can range from transporting an animal in a way that is inappropriate for its welfare to torturing or beating and animal.
2007 in the UK saw the 2006 “Animal Welfare Act” become law, which grants local authorities the power to prosecute anyone who breaches the terms laid out in the act. With penalties ranging from a minimum fine of £20,000 or minimum of 51 weeks in jail.
The Animal Welfare Act states:
Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare
- A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.
- For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include:
- its need for a suitable environment,
- its need for a suitable diet,
- its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
- any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and
- its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.