The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill came into force on 8 June to protect service animals such as police dogs and horses. The Bill, known as ‘Finn’s Law’, will prevent those who attack or injure service animals from claiming self-defence.
The law is named after Finn, a police dog who was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect with his handler PC David Wardell. Finn sustained serious stab wounds to the chest and head, but only criminal damage charges could be brought against his attacker.
This new legislation, coupled with the Government’s plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.
According to the group which led the campaign for this law, more than 100 other service animals have been injured since 2012. This includes injuries such as being beaten with an iron bar, kicked or hit by a car.