Alliance ensures Council will review actions over Hank

Belfast City Council is to launch a review into how it handles future cases relating to potential dangerous dogs, Councillor Sian O’Neill has said, a move secured by the Alliance Party following the well-publicised case of Hank.

The local government authority has confirmed a full evaluation of procedures and policies will now take place, after the Alliance Party asked for a ‘robust review’, where lessons could be learnt for the future.

Councillor Sian O’Neill said: “As soon as the well-publicised case regarding Hank was resolved, Alliance immediately asked for a robust review into the Council’s actions to be carried out.

“I’m delighted the Council has acted so quickly in response to our request. While the current laws are extremely outdated, as a Council we also have a responsibility to assess our own actions, seeing what lessons we can learn for similar future cases.

“Like many across Belfast and Northern Ireland, I was shocked at how an out-dated law meant this family came close to losing a pet that has since been found to have no threat to the public.

“While public safety is vital and Alliance continues to value the excellent work undertaken by our staff in the field of animal welfare, there is always room for improvement. I look forward to hearing the outcome of this review.

“With this review on-going, the Alliance team on Belfast City Council will also be supporting our Assembly colleagues as they continue to lobby the Minister to take action around the current law, preventing related situations from developing in future.”

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