Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Haworth woman's plea for tougher sentences for animal abuse
9:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A Haworth woman whose dogs were shot in the head by a farmer has joined forces with UKIP to fight for tougher sentences for animal abusers.
Zoe Kerr was horrified when sheep farmer Simon Tisdwell walked out of court last month with a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours of community service after admitting killing her two dogs, Frank and Macey, in March.
Miss Kerr, 36, had lost the dogs on Oxenhope Moor on Mothers’ Day, and after an appeal for information was told a passer-by had found them and handed them to Tidswell until the owner could be found.
After denying he had seen the dogs, police later found their bodies at his farm, Sandbeds on Trough Lane.
Miss Kerr believes the case shows that a shake up of sentencing laws in animal welfare cases is needed, and now wants Parliament to discuss the issue.
She has teamed up with UKIP district chairman and animal rights campaigner Jason Smith to launch a petition for tougher sentencing. They say that current sentences “make a mockery of the court system” and offer no deterrent to abusers.
Mr Smith has launched a petition on the Government website and hopes to gain the 100,000 signatures required to generate a debate in the House of Commons.
Miss Kerr said: “The charges they put up were very lenient, and he’ll never have to serve any prison time for this. Not only did I lose my beautiful dogs in such a horrific way and will never get over it, I have been let down by our justice system.
“Animal abusers must have a sentence that reflects the severity of their crimes and the impact they have on the victims. The criminal has not been punished and our justice system has let me, the victim, down.”
Mr Smith said: “I was horrified after seeing the pitiful sentence passed down for the murder of Zoe’s two dogs. As an animal rights campaigner I offered my support to Miss Kerr and will work to help her receive justice.”
The petition can be found on epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/54517.