Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP – Update from Parliament April 2019

By the time you read this, Easter will be upon us and you will know if we have left the EU. At time of writing, though, things are far from certain!

Even with Brexit taking up a lot of time, Parliament is still finding time to debate issues that are of concern or interest to individual local residents and new legislation is being passed.

I am very pleased at the progress being made by Finn’s Law which passed its final stages in the House of Commons. The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill – which has come to be known as Finn’s Law passed its Third Reading – with Finn visiting the House of Commons to witness the proceedings!

This is great news. Any dog-lover will know that it is an absolute nonsense – and to be frank upsetting – that in law Finn is treated only as a piece of police property. Service animals such as Finn do a magnificent job and need to be protected by the law.

Finn and his handler PC Dave Wardle were pursuing a robbery suspect when the suspect turned on them with a knife. PC Wardle insists that Finn saved his life that day and in doing so, Finn sustained serious stab wounds to the chest and head. Despite this, Finn would not let go of the suspect until reinforcements arrived.

Initially, Finn was not expected to survive. The suspect was charged with ABH in respect of the injuries sustained by PC Wardle but could only be charged with criminal damage with regard to the injuries sustained by Finn. In effect, the law treats Finn as a piece of property.

All that is set to change when Finn’s Law becomes law. MPs unanimously backed the changes and it has now passed to the House of Lords where Hertfordshire’s Lord Trenchard will be leading the Bill.

Finn has now retired and lives with PC Wardle and his family. At Crufts this year, they won the Kennel Club’s Friends for Life award which ‘celebrates a lifetime of friendship and the heartwarming stories of how humans and dogs transform and enrich each other’s lives’.

Finn is now firmly on the celebrity circuit and often visits local groups and clubs and the bond between Dave and Finn is indeed heartwarming to see.

Further information can be obtained from Sir Mike Penning at mike@penning4hemel.com, telephone 01442 251126

Website penning4hemel.com


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