Comedians including Paul O’Grady, Ricky Gervais and Sue Perkins have teamed up with Battersea Dogs And Cats Home to tackle animal cruelty sentencing that they have labelled laughably lenient.

Harry Hill and Tracey Ullman are also backing the Not Funny campaign to increase the maximum sentence for the most severe animal cruelty from the current six months to five years.

Under current laws, a heftier sentence could be handed to a fly tipper, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, than to someone who had tortured and killed an animal in England and Wales – where the punishment time is the lowest in the whole of Europe, the USA and Australia.

Paul O'GradyPaul O’Grady is outraged at the lenient sentencing. (Battersea Dogs And Cats Home/PA)

In March this year, a Devon fly-tipper was sentenced to 20 months, while weeks later a Wirral man who admitted stabbing and burning a dog alive was jailed for just 24 weeks.

O’Grady, who presents Battersea-based animal series For The Love Of Dogs, said: “There’s nothing like looking into an animal’s eyes to see how innocent and trusting they are, and it makes me angry to see the way some people mistreat and abuse them.

“I can’t stand by and watch while those responsible for the most terrible suffering are unlikely to get more than a few weeks in prison.

Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais is backing the campaign. (Battersea Dogs And Cats Home/PA)

“What’s to stop them doing it again?”

Gervais added: “It’s sickening to hear about innocent dogs and cats enduring terrible suffering at the hands of humans and knowing the law does nothing to protect them, or deter people from committing these acts of cruelty.

“Six months in prison is nowhere near long enough for people who choose to abuse, torture and kill animals.

Paul O'GradyO’Grady is a long-time supporter of the animal home. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“You could get more for fly-tipping.”

Around 34,000 people have already pledged their support to Battersea’s campaign and as the faces of it, the comedians are encouraging their fans to do the same by going to www.battersea.org.uk/NotFunny.