Speaking during an anti-hunt rally at Stormont on Saturday, the North Down Councillor said not only did Alliance oppose blood sports and hunting with hounds – including stag and fox hunting – but that Alliance representatives at all levels of government had fought hard to tackle the issue.
Councillor Scott Wilson said: “The Alliance Party strongly opposes any form of animal cruelty and has been vocal in its fight to end the suffering of so many. Not only have we a strong opposition to blood sports, we oppose any hunting with hounds – including stag and fox hunting.
“Our MP Naomi Long is a well-known campaigner against animal cruelty and has fought hard against the use of wild animals in circuses at Westminster, where a ban has now been agreed for England and Wales, due to come into effect in 2015. She has also written to Minister Michelle O’Neill asking that a similar ban is introduced in Northern Ireland.
“At the Assembly our MLAs have spoken about the need for a complete review into current animal cruelty legislation and supported a joint Agriculture and Justice review of the Welfare of Animals Act 2011.
“Personally the fight against animal cruelty is a subject close to my heart. It was my father Brian Wilson, who as an MLA originally tried to introduce the fox hunting bill at Stormont – with very little support other than from the Alliance Party.
“That was 4 years ago and still this legislation is lacking. Hunting with hounds is cruel and has no place in the 21st century and seeing animals ripped to shreds by packs of dogs cannot be considered a sport by any right thinking individual. Hopefully events like it will raise vital awareness on this issue, so our laws can be brought into line with the rest of the UK sooner rather than later.”