Courts must reflect disgust of society at animal cruelty
The reports of a duck being kicked to death in Belfast have understandably caused outrage.
Statistics revealed yesterday show that last year 45 people were banned from keeping animals after they were convicted of cruelty.
We used to pride ourselves on being a nation of animal lovers, but how hollow that claim seems today. While mercifully animal cruelty is confined to a minority of sociopaths, people who mistreat animals are more likely to act against human beings.
Such behaviour must not be tolerated, and the courts must impose the full rigour of the law to show that society has zero-tolerance for such actions.