CONVICTED animal abusers could face tougher jail sentences under proposed legislation changes backed by Government.

Courts could then have the power to pass down a sentence of up to five years instead of six months currently, for crimes such as neglect, cruel treatment and dog fighting.

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The Animals Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, has been introduced as a Private Members Bill by Conservative MP Chris Loder, who said he was inspired to take action by his own dog who he found abandoned on the roadside.

The introduction of the Bill, which is supported by the Government, follows a public consultation in 2017 which found 70 per cent of people backed tougher sentences for animal cruelty.

Joe Purvis, 25, of William Tennant Way, Upton-upon-Severn, last February, was ordered to pay court costs of £400 and a £115 victim surcharge, when he appeared before magistrates

The court heard how Purvis broke his kitten’s jaw, Indico, and caused what are believed to be burns to her head – and Purvis, 25, admitted to giving the animal a “back-hander” after it had bitten him, but did not accept that the marks were caused by a burn. The court heard that he claimed the cat hit her head on a tap. Purvis avoided jail.