According to press reports, Jamie Weir admitted repeatedly stabbing Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Jack, before burning him alive and burying him in a shallow grave. The 21-year-old was jailed for 24 weeks by Wirral magistrates on Friday – narrowly below the maximum sentence possible for animal cruelty offences under English and Welsh law. He had told police he killed Jack because he had never liked the dog, who belonged to his then-partner’s mother.
Battersea believes the current maximum is wholly inadequate and is campaigning for this maximum sentence to be increased to five years for the most severe offences. Already more than 25,500 members of the public have signed up to support the influential charity’s campaign.
The Home’s research Sentencing for animal cruelty in England and Wales reveals England and Wales’ current maximum sentence of six months in prison and an unlimited fine is the lowest across Europe, the United States and Australia.
Commenting on the Wirral case, Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton said: “The details of this case are so sickening I am shocked and appalled beyond words. This absolutely inhumane and depraved treatment of a defenceless animal is wholly unacceptable and this is why Battersea is calling for tougher sentences for people who treat animals in this way.
“Jack suffered terribly at Weir’s hands before facing an awful death. For these truly horrendous offences, less than six months is not a just sentence, and yet in cases like this six months is the maximum that can be handed out under current laws.
“Current penalties are neither a punishment nor a deterrent – we’re proposing a much tougher maximum sentence of five years for the most severe cases, which would give the courts more flexibility when handing down appropriate punishments. Our campaign has had incredible support and I know the public want to join us so we can make our voice heard for animals like Jack. Now the Government needs to listen.”
Visit www.battersea.org.uk/NotFunny and help speak out for animals like Jack.