Speaking at Thursday night’s Council meeting, the representative for East Belfast appealed to Councillors to back calls for a new and comprehensive Animal Welfare Bill – including provisions to prohibit wild animals in circuses, the hunting of animals with dogs and the better regulating of the sale of puppies and kittens.
Councillor Sian O’Neill said: “Protecting animals from all kinds of cruelty is something Alliance is passionate about and that’s why earlier this year Councillor Michael Long brought forward a motion to the Shadow Council highlighting how far behind Northern Ireland is on this issue.
“The cruel and inhumane treatment of animals is an abhorrent act and one that greatly concerns many across Belfast and Northern Ireland, with local people often getting in touch in relation to the fate of missing pets.
“Alliance is not prepared to accept that some in society think it is the norm to treat family pets as sick bait and has been working hard with animal welfare charities, the relevant departments and members of the public to seek stricter guidelines for those wishing to own pets – and ultimately how to prevent vulnerable animals falling into the hands of those who seek to harm them.
“That is why I am calling for a new and comprehensive Animal Welfare Bill, that takes into account all forms of cruelty – including wild animals in circuses, using inhumane snaring methods and the use of electronic dog collars, to name a few – building on the on-going work of DOJ and DARD.”