Belfast Telegraph

Tougher laws urged on blood sports

Animal rights activists have called for tougher laws as it steps up its campaign against blood sports, fur farming and abuse.

Hundreds of activists are expected to stage a mass rally in Dublin as welfare groups demand heavier penalties in the revised upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

John Carmody, director of Animal Rights Action Network (Aran), said: "As a nation we should be hanging our heads in shame that we've turned our backs and a blind eye to the immense amount of animal abuse taking place in Irish society.

"Irish politicians are certainly to blame for much of what is happening to animals simply because they have ignored the plight of their suffering for so long and stuck us with a law that dates back to 1911.

"It is time politicians recognised that there are voters out there who care about animals and that their lack of support for animal welfare will not be ignored next time these politicians come knocking on our doors."

Several supporters are due to walk rescued dogs along with a giant banner reading 'Animal Exploitation Has Got to Stop - It's Time for Animal Rights.

Campaigners said current legislation dates back to 1911 and claims it is not working. Aran said animal abusers currently go unpunished, and as a result there is more suffering and abuse taking place.

"Aran is currently lobbying government with regard to the revised upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill and is campaigning for this legislation to include tougher jail sentences and heavy fines for those abusing animals or caught keeping them in decrepit conditions," he added.

"The group is also pushing for psychiatric intervention in extreme cruelty cases."

Elsewhere it wants the Irish school curriculum to include a segment on kindness towards animals along with calls to ban animal-act circuses, hare coursing and fox hunting.

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