Alliance Group Leader on the shadow Council Michael Long will put forward the motion this Tuesday (March 3) as the latest stage in the party’s tackling of animal welfare issues. It asks for the introduction of proposals and subsequent legislation to outlaw the hunting of mammals with dogs and also on owning, using and selling snares for the purposes of capturing or killing animals.
Councillor Long said it was “truly embarrassing” that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where the practice has not been banned legislatively.
“Animal cruelty is something which people across the city feel passionately about. Only last month, Alliance held a public meeting in East Belfast which was packed with residents discussing their concerns on animal welfare.
“A hunting ban was one of the main topics raised on the night, with people asking local politicians to tackle it. Therefore we have put this motion forward to raise awareness of the matter and to ask the Assembly to deal with hunting so we do not remain a legislative backwater on animal welfare matters.
“This issue has effectively been ignored by Stormont but I hope the largest council in Northern Ireland will unite behind our motion and pressure the Assembly to outlaw this practice. We have been told by OFMDFM this is not a priority but time would be better spent on bringing forward progressive legislation such as this rather than some other matters we have seen discussed at the Assembly.”