Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Alliance MLA 'just shooing dog away' after video of kennel incident goes viral

Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

An Alliance MLA has said he intended to "shoo a dog away" after video footage was posted on social media appearing to show him slapping the animal.

He said he was an animal lover and would be mortified if people thought he "struck a dog deliberately".

Lagan Valley MLA Trevor Lunn visited the Lambeg Doggy Day Centre on Seymour Street in Lisburn on Thursday morning after being invited to the business by owner Stephen Anderson.

Mr Anderson had invited the politician after he objected to a planning application by the business.

CCTV footage shows Mr Lunn surrounded by dogs before one jumps up on his leg. He can then be seen swiping at it.

Mr Anderson said: "It happened yesterday at about 11.30am. I have spoken with the owner of the dog and they have asked me to take charge of the situation and I have reported it to the police."

"The police are coming out to take a statement from me at some stage today.

Affronted: Trevor Lunn
Affronted: Trevor Lunn

"Trevor had made a complaint about my business. He has opposed my plans. He had never been to my business so I invited round to see what he was complaining about."

Mr Anderson said he told Mr Lunn that the business was covered by CCTV cameras.

In a statement Mr Lunn said Mr Anderson did not mention the incident at the time and apologised saying he did not mean to hurt the animal.

"I visited the facility on a planning issue and spent a few minutes inside with the dogs," he said.

"We went into the yard and once of the dogs jumped up.

"I intended to shoo it down but if I hit the dog, I apologise unreservedly. The owner of the facility, who was standing beside me, said nothing at the time.

"There was no intent to hurt the animal, and as an animal lover and pet owner myself, I am mortified anyone thinks I struck a dog deliberately."

An Alliance Party spokesman said the party was aware of the video and was investigating the matter.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed it has received a report about the matter.

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