Finn’s Law named after hero police dog comes into force

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Police dog Finn received the PDSA Gold Medal in March for police service PA

The new law means suspects who attack police animals will not be able to plead that their actions were in self defence.

German shepherd Finn was stabbed and seriously hurt as he protected PC Dave Wardell from an attacker in 2016.

Nicknamed “Finn’s Law”, the new legislation makes it harder for those who harm service animals including Police dogs and horses to claim they were acting in self-defence.

PC Wardell, who has led calls for the change in the law, said the pair’s journey had been “incredible”.

The father-of-three and Finn also managed to reach the final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent variety show with a with their mind-reading act that moved the judges to tears.

“This law is the only reason I put myself on stage in front of nine million people,” said PC Wardell, who is still a serving officer.

He began campaigning for the new Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act after Finn – now retired – saved his life when a knife-wielding robbery suspect attacked them in Stevenage in 2016.

Finn was stabbed in the chest and head and was not expected to survive. PC Wardell was stabbed in the hand.

The legislation will be coupled with government plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said said the laws will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.

 

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