We need more action over animal cruelty
The local community and I are absolutely disgusted at the cruelty demonstrated by the inhumane beating and drowning of three defenceless animals near Banbridge.
We are horrified that there are individuals who can inflict such cruelty on defenceless animals. What sort of evil mind-set do they have?
While there has been progress in safeguarding animals, more needs to be done. The 2011 Welfare of Animals Act introduced a range of measures, such as the new enforcement powers for action to be taken to prevent cruelty. However, there has been a wholly inadequate number of convictions since the Act's implementation.
In fact, there is an ongoing perception that perpetrators of these types of crime get away lightly when it comes to punishments from the courts.
Recently, the Ulster Unionist Party revealed that over the period 2011-2015, only two of the 201 cases of animal cruelty before the courts had the maximum penalty imposed. We need to see more convictions and more custodial sentences.
The Ulster Unionist Party published an animal welfare policy document in April this year. One of its main proposals was to create a central register of people convicted of animal cruelty.
This would also greatly improve the information currently collated and stored for those found guilty of inflicting suffering on animals.
I am asking anyone with information regarding the brutal killing of these dogs to report it. If they are capable of doing this to these three dogs, then they are capable of doing it to any of our much-loved family pets.
CLLR GLENN BARR (UUP)
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council