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I contacted the MSPs for Dundee West. I had a written reply from Alison McInnes who then went on to write to the Scottish Government asking if it had any plans to review the legislation. In response to Alison McInnes' letter, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, wrote to say that the Scottish Government takes the issue of animal cruelty very seriously, and the sentence is proportionate to the crime committed and that the courts must remain to have the discretion on sentencing.

I agree that it is important for the courts to have the discretion on sentencing as not all cases are identical and there are always other factors to consider, but to say that the sentencing is proportionate is something I (and everyone I have spoken to) do not agree with in the slightest. It was disheartening to learn that someone in power feels that way. The point of the sentence should act as a deterrent to the crime and, at the moment, a one year imprisonment is not an effective enough deterrent, which is why there are so many cases of animal abuse and why it needs to be increased. I have spoken to many people about this and have not found one person who disagrees that the sentence should be increased. This is why I strongly feel that this petition is needed in order to convey how the public feels on the matter and build public pressure.

I contacted MSPs who were members of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee, the Public Petitions Committee, and the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee. Many responded and conveyed their sympathies on the matter, and advised me that due to Parliamentary rules, they were unable to discuss the matter with me. Others advised me to start a petition on the Scottish Parliament website.

Whilst I have been waiting for this petition to be approved, I have gained 920 signatures for my petition on change.org:


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