YP Letters: Token sentences won't deter animal cruelty

From: Dr Mike Lowry, Leeds.

Abbatoir practices are in the spotlight.
Abbatoir practices are in the spotlight.

THE disturbing case of extensive animal cruelty by staff at a Thirsk slaughterhouse (The Yorkshire Post, March 3) is made even more shocking by the paltry hand-slap sentences they each received.

Despite overwhelming evidence of their persistent and extreme cruelty, three defendants received suspended prison sentences (of between 16-20 weeks) and all received fines. Why were the sentences suspended?

This equates to nothing more than a timid hand-slap by the court.

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    If the same cruelty had been meted out to a human, the sentence would be more likely to be something in proportion to the crime: and let us not pretend these are anything less than criminal actions by dangerous individuals.

    In any civilised society, criminal activity should be punished proportionately, which includes acts of cruelty to animals, otherwise we are at best only pretending to be civilised.

    Those responsible for determining sentences should be made to look again at this case and revisit guidelines for sentencing, otherwise psychopaths who want to vent their deranged needs onto others will do so, knowing they face no more than a pretend sentence that will deter no one. Next step a human victim?