Law firm helps to get animal cruelty ruling

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Lancashire-based law firm Marsden Rawsthorn has helped win a legal precedent that will safeguard the welfare of animals.

The company, which has offices in Chorley and Preston, has worked with the RSPCA in Lancashire for more than 20 years.

Following a case brought last year and a subsequent appeal, Marsden Rawsthorn represented the RSPCA at a judicial review that has clarified the Animal Welfare Act 2006, establishing a precedent that will prevent future exceptions to disqualifications relating to the keeping and owning of animals.

Marsden Rawsthorn represented the RSPCA in a cat cruelty hearing, which took place at Blackpool Magistrates Court last year.

When an appeal was heard at Preston Crown Court two of the five original convictions were overturned and the Recorder kept in place the original disqualification, but amended it by allowing the defendant to keep one neutered cat.

The RSPCA applied for the sentence of the court, in relation to the disqualification, to be reviewed.

Jonathan Fail from the Marsden Rawsthorn litigation team said: “Our case rested on the understanding that section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not empower the court to make an exception to a disqualification and Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Blair at the High Court in Manchester upheld that point of law.”