Government-backed plans to give police dogs and horses legal protection blocked by MP.

There were groans in the Commons as Sir Christopher Chope dealt a blow to campaigners by announcing he objected to the Animal Welfare Service Animals Bill.

The bill, named Finn’s Law after a police dog brutally stabbed while protecting his handler, aims to remove a section of the current law of self-defence often used by those who harm a service animal.

The law was tabled by Conservative MP Sir Oliver Heald and would have progressed further towards becoming law if Sir Christopher, who has a reputation for derailing private members’ laws, had not objected. The rules in parliament mean it only requires one MP to shout ‘object’ to block a law’s progress before the debate concluded at 2.30pm on a Friday.

christopher chope
Credit: Parliament TV

Sir Christopher also derailed government-backed plans to criminalise upskirting today. Sir Oliver said he was ‘disappointed’ following the debate, but said he was ‘hopeful’ upon the bill’s return to the Commons on 6 July. Speaking prior to the debate Environment Secretary Michael Gove had offered his full support. He said: ‘This bill will offer stronger protection for the many brave service animals that help to protect us. ‘This Government is continuing to raise the bar on animal welfare, whether it be for our beloved pets, brave service animals or on farms.’ Finn’s handler Pc Dave Wardell, from Hertfordshire, said the dog – now retired – saved his life when a robbery suspect they were pursuing turned on them with a knife in 2016.

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Protect Police Dogs

Finn For Change Team @ #Finn’s Law where at Parliament for the 2nd Reading, one person rejected it and has now moved to 6 July 2018 for the 2nd Reading. The UK Government have now given their backing and also DEFRA (Dept of Environment, Food & Rural Affair’s). But, we still have to keep pushing especially in Northern Ireland, please write to your local MLA to support this Bill, I am pushing hard…

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