Many pet owners in the Causeway area enjoy and look after their dogs, cats and other animals well. Unfortunately there is a small minority who cause suffering to animals.
In the recent Causeway Alliance survey in this area, two thirds of people surveyed did not think ‘enough was being done to protect animals from neglect and cruelty’.
In light of these findings, Yvonne Boyle, Alliance Assembly Candidate for East Londonderry, welcomes the implementation of the new maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences. She was speaking after the recent publication of animal welfare laws, which mean that the Public Prosecution Service is now able to refer unduly lenient sentences back to the Court of Appeal in cases where someone has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.
She said: ‘Justice Minister Minister David Ford deserves praise for the new sentences and fines being introduced. Alliance has consistently campaigned against animal cruelty. Those guilty of animal cruelty deserve serious sentences, as strong laws are of little value without effective enforcement. Due to the tightening of the law, we can finally take a huge step in reducing offences against animals.’