Thank you for contacting me about strengthening the laws around protecting service-animals and “Finn’s Law”. I have read your email carefully and have noted the key points that you make. I am honoured to have met and patted Finn!
I entirely share your concern about this issue and agree with the “Finn’s Law” campaigners that these brave and loyal animals deserve our best protection. I am therefore pleased that legislation has been passed by Parliament and came into effect on 8th June 2019. It offers stronger protection for the many brave service animals that help to protect us.
A defendant accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal will no longer be able to claim they were protecting themselves, and therefore justified in using physical force against a service animal. This change, coupled with legislation introduced to Parliament which will increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.
I welcome this action to address the despicable behaviour that the new Act targets, and I pay tribute to PC David Wardell and all those who have campaigned for Finn’s Law. We must all send the clear message that attacks on service animals will not be tolerated.
With best wishes and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking