Alliance MP Mrs Long was speaking after Jeremiah Kirkwood, his sons Chris and Wayne, all of Island Street, and Jamie Morrow of McAllister Court in the east of the city all confessed their guilt to a string of charges, including keeping animals for fighting, having equipment in connection with animal fights and causing unnecessary suffering to puppies.
Mrs Long said she was disgusted by the actions of the quartet and others involved in similar animal cruelty.
“I have seen some of the footage which formed part of this case and it was horrific to say the least. By all accounts, it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty brought to courts and it stuns me that people could be so callous towards the creatures involved.
“This kind of vile brutality towards animals should have no place in a decent society. I cannot comprehend the mind of a person who could bring themselves to partake in such appallingly cruel behaviour.
“I am pleased this barbaric practice has been stopped in this case and my thoughts are with not only the animals tortured and killed and their owners, but also with the dogs used in these attacks, as they too have been horrifically abused and brutalised.
“I would encourage anyone who has any suspicions regarding dog fighting, badger baiting or other animal cruelty to contact the PSNI or USPCA and help bring an end to it, and bring those responsible to justice.”