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Animal Cruelty/RSPCA Prosecutions

Animal Cruelty solicitors

We understand the highly sensitive nature of these cases and will work closely with you to collect evidence and build your defence.

We will also help you to communicate with the RSPCA or other prosecuting authority and advise you about the best course of action.

RSPCA powers are not the same as the police, and unlike the police their requests and demands are not enforceable by law and you are under no obligation to answer any questions they may put to you.

However, they are able to prosecute you privately if they believe there is sufficient evidence to do so. At this stage, animal cruelty solicitors may be able to help you fight your corner.

An individual or company who is accused of animal cruelty is likely to suffer considerable damage to their reputation as a result of the public interest in cases of this kind.

If you are accused of the mistreatment of animals, the prosecution process will vary depending on the body to which you have been reported. Usually, this will be either the police or the RSPCA. It’s important to know your rights in cases of either kind.

Sentences for the abuse of animals can be severe. Making contact with animal welfare solicitors will enable you to effectively defend yourself against any allegations.

You may face police or RSPCA prosecutions if you are suspected of:

  • Causing unnecessary suffering or permitting suffering to be caused to an animal
  • Poisoning protected animals
  • Carrying out or causing a prohibited procedure to be carried out on an animal (e.g. mutilation)
  • Any involvement in the illegal use of animals such as dog fighting
  • Neglect of animals, or the failure to take reasonable to ensure the needs of an animal for which you are responsible.

Our animal rights solicitors are aware that accusations of animal cruelty can often be made falsely as the result of a dispute, or by a well meaning individual with little understanding of the real situation or circumstances.

In cases of this kind, it’s extremely important for those facing prosecution to seek assistance from our animal cruelty solicitors as soon as possible.

Whether you are facing a prosecution for animal cruelty as the result of a police investigation or RSPCA prosecutions, the animal welfare solicitors at Berris Law will be able to assist you.

What may constitute animal cruelty?

Animal cruelty is the failure to provide for the “Five Welfare Needs” of domestic animals or livestock as laid out by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. These are:

  • The need for a suitable environment
  • The need for a suitable diet
  • The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • The need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

You do not have to actively engage in the injury or abuse of an animal for which you are responsible to be prosecuted – neglect of the above needs is enough see you investigated and taken to court.

Members of the public are eager to protect animals and wildlife and may occasionally report individuals or companies for cruelty without being aware of the entire situation. In these cases, engaging expert animal cruelty solicitors will enable you to provide investigators or hearing panels with proof that you provide suitable care.

Punishment for animal cruelty in the UK

The maximum penalty for animal cruelty has recently been extended to five years. Perpetrators may also be fined and banned from keeping animals for a period of time specified by the court. The severity of the potential punishments involved means that as soon as you become aware that you have been reported to the RSPCA or the police, making contact with animal rights solicitors should be a matter of urgency.

Berris Law’s animal cruelty solicitors will work closely with you, going through evidence including mobile phone footage and images and speaking to witnesses in order to help you provide a clearer picture of your treatment of the animals in question.

Speak to our animal cruelty solicitors today

If you or a family member has been arrested or are being investigated for an alleged offence, you can get in touch with our solicitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week for assistance. Either call us on 020 3325 7415 or complete our online form and we’ll get right back to you.


Free Consultation

We know that no two cases are ever the same and we are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process with tailored solutions which work for you. Fill out the form to request your free consultation today.

The office is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm Mondays to Fridays excluding bank holidays. In the event your call is urgent and require us out of hours please either telephone us on 020 3325 7415 or email us on info@berrislaw.co.uk or complete the online form. All are monitored 24/7.


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