Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The Assembly must have a zero tolerance on animal cruelty. While the Assembly has passed a number of laws on animal welfare, they are of little value without effective enforcement.
“This is a very serious matter as the torture of innocent animals is an indication of an individual who may commit other serious crimes.
“I do not think there are many people who weren’t sickened by the vile animal abuse which came to light during the Kirkwood and Morrow case. While they were convicted and given a suspended sentence, there is a public perception that this failed to send out the message that we will not tolerate animal cruelty in our community. It failed to deliver a proper deterrent and a punishment fit for the crime.
“I therefore welcome the unanimous Assembly support for a joint Agriculture and Justice review of the implementation of animal cruelty legislation, the Welfare of Animals Act 2011.”