PD Axle “jumping for joy” over law change to protect police dogs

Published on: Friday, 19th April 2019
PC Dean Allen with PD Axle and PCC Hardyal Dhindsa

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has reacted with delight to new legislation protecting service animals injured on duty.

The new law which allows police forces to prosecute those who cause unnecessary suffering to police dogs and horses while on duty has been given Royal Assent.

It was brought in response to the injury of Hertfordshire police dog Finn who was seriously injured while chasing a knife suspect. His handler was also injured during the incident.

News of its formalisation has been widely welcomed, especially in Derbyshire where serving police dog Axle was also stabbed on duty and received emergency treatment last year.  

Mr Dhindsa said: “This is fantastic news and we are jumping for joy. Hardworking police dogs like Finn and Axle are finally being given the respect and protection they deserve in law thanks to the efforts of a great number of campaigners and we couldn’t be happier.

“I hope that Finn’s legacy will safeguard many more police dogs and service animals in the future and that this historic move serves as a deterrent to those intent on violence.”

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill received widespread public and political support, reflecting the gravity of attacks on police dogs.

In addition to creating a new offence, it also advocates the broadening of sentencing powers in situations where a service animal is injured as a result of criminal activity to impose harsher penalties.

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