We protect our employees but what about our working animals who perform incredible roles and offer up their lives to save their human colleagues?

From this Saturday, service animals will no longer be treated as 'property'. Currently, anyone who harms a service animal can only be subjected to charges of criminal damage at most and claim self-defence.

The new law makes amendments to the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. Service animals will now be afforded further protection as a result. Furthermore, as long as the service animal was under the control of an officer and being used reasonably, the defendant is unlikely to be able to put forward a successful self-defence argument.

The government also plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty to five years in prison and so at last, our working animals are being given some much needed protection.