Council urges Stormont to finally outlaw hunting with dogs
Northern Ireland's largest council has sent an unequivocal message to Stormont - outlaw hunting with dogs.
Parties at Belfast City Council united last night in support of a motion proposed by Alliance councillor Michael Long.
Northern Ireland is the last part of the UK where hunting with dogs is still legal.
Mr Long described this situation as an "embarrassment" and called for it to be banned.
He also called for the selling of snares for capturing or killing animals to be made illegal.
"We want to send the message to the Assembly that we want this dealt with," Mr Long told the council.
"A decade is a long time for no action to be taken."
The proposal was seconded by DUP councillor Christopher Stalford.
"I firmly believe that this practice [hunting with dogs] should be consigned to the ash heap of history," he said.
Sinn Fein councillor Steven Corr, the PUP's Julie-Anne Corr Johnston and Green Party representative Ross Brown also backed the proposal.
It was passed unanimously by the council.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Long said the council had "taken the opportunity to send a clear message to the Executive that urgent action is needed to tackle animal cruelty".
"As a unified council group and the largest council in Northern Ireland, we have sent a clear message to the Executive that action must be taken to address this horrifying form of animal cruelty," he said.