Lyttle hopes Minister will now drop controversial Bill

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said he hopes the Environment Minister will now drop a controversial Bill about animal snares after he withdrew it following public pressure.

East Belfast MLA Mr Lyttle was speaking after Mark H Durkan said he did not intend on taking forward the Snares Order (Northern Ireland) 2015. It would have seen the current regulations on snares amended but fell short of a total ban.

Public outcry, along with pressure from the League Against Cruel Sports and MLAs including Mr Lyttle, are believed to have forced the Minister to re-think the legislation.

“I welcome this move from the Minister and hope he now considers dropping this Bill entirely,” said Mr Lyttle.

“An Alliance Party motion calling for a ban on the use of snares to kill animals was unanimously backed by parties at Belfast City Council earlier this year. It perfectly captured the majority of the public’s desire to see such cruel practices outlawed entirely, with three-quarters of people recently polled backing such a move.

“The Minister should now take onboard the strength of feeling. This proposed Bill would have kept snares legal, so he needs to work with the Assembly and other interested groups towards introducing a full ban.”

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