Lyttle: Hunting with dogs ban long overdue

East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle has said a ban on hunting with dogs is long overdue.

The Alliance MLA, who is Deputy Chair of the Assembly All-Party Group on Animal Welfare, said the Agriculture Minister had so far failed to respond to widespread public support for such a ban.

“Animal welfare is a priority for Alliance, which was shown with the Alliance Justice Minister last week, who successfully increased the maximum available custodial sentence and fines available to those found guilty of the most serious animal cruelty crimes.

“We fully support a ban on hunting with dogs, and were one of the few parties to support an attempt to do just that in the Assembly in 2010. Recent independent polls show over 80 per cent of people think such a practice should be illegal.

“The Burns Inquiry into hunting found hunting with dogs is ineffective, inhumane and outdated. If the Minister does not take action, Alliance will seek to bring a private member’s bill to the Assembly to achieve a ban on this barbaric pastime.

“Northern Ireland should get in line with the rest of the UK and confine it to the history bin.”

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