Long welcomes police seizure of dogs

Naomi Long MLA has welcomed police action to seize two dogs in an animal welfare operation in East Belfast earlier today.

The search was carried out at a property in the lower Newtownards Road area under animal welfare legislation. A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police, while a 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault on police. Both men have since been released and issued with penalty notices of disorder.

It is understood the men arrested were members of the Kirkwood family, who were previously banned from keeping animals.

“It is vital bans on keeping animals which are handed out by the courts are properly enforced,” said Mrs Long.

“I commend the PSNI for prioritising animal welfare issues and removing these animals from a situation in which they or others could have been placed in danger.

“There is no place in this society for cruelty and the public clearly feel strongly about the issue. There were significant improvements in the penalties possible in such cases, thanks to the work of my colleague David Ford, however, without adequate resources for enforcement banning orders are often meaningless.

“Thankfully in this the case the PSNI have acted. I would urge anyone with any information on this matter to pass it to police.”

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