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1st October 2019

Cats Protection has welcomed new laws which will strengthen animal cruelty penalties in Scotland.

The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill will increase the maximum penalties for the most serious animal welfare and wildlife offences to five years imprisonment and increase the maximum penalties for various other offences.

Cats Protection’s Chief Executive James Yeates said: “Every week we hear of stories where cats, and other animals, have been subjected to horrific cruelty, causing them severe suffering and often lifelong physical injuries or psychological problems. And sadly, we hear of many cases where cats have died after suffering appalling acts of cruelty.

"Animal cruelty is an abhorrent crime and Cats Protection welcomes this bill which will increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from 12 months to five years.

“This increase reflects the importance that society places on protecting animals from harm and punishing those who are cruel towards them, ensuring Scotland is one of the world leaders on animal welfare issues.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity and during 2018, its 40 volunteer-run branches and four centres in Scotland rehomed 4,000 unwanted cats and neutered more than 14,000 cats.

To find out more about the charity’s work, please visit


For a photo or more information, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office by emailing or phone 01825 741 911

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats and kittens each year through a national network of around 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres.
  2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
  3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
  4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at
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