The Environment Secretary has recently announced a new bill which will help to better protect police and service animals.
This law will make it a specific offence to attack police or prison officer dogs or police horses, closing a legal loophole.
The bill was introduced after the story of Finn, a police dog in Hertfordshire who was stabbed twice in a confrontation with a suspect. The suspect also injured Finn's handler, Dave Wardell, who Finn bravely fought to protect. Finn required 4 hours of surgery but fortunately survived and even returned to work.
The arrested man was charged with actual bodily harm against Wardell. The Court was unable to charge the suspect with any specific assault on Finn, due to the legal loophole, which meant the only charge possible was 'causing unnecessary suffering to an animal'. This cheapens the work that Finn and other service animals do and it isn't worthy of the sacrifices these brave animals make.
I'm very happy that this law has the support of the Government, and service animals like Finn and the many others that work alongside our Police and other forces are going to be better protected in the future.