Northern Ireland gets new anti-cruelty law

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2011:


STORMONT, Northern Ireland –The first update of the
Northern Ireland Welfare of Animals Act since 1972 cleared the
Northern Ireland Assembly on February 22, 2011. It is expected to
take effect in April 2011, after the formality of royal assent.
Ulster SPCA director Stephen Philpott called the update “A
complete sellout,” because it gives law enforcement authority for
non-farmed animals to local councils, as in Britain. Such authority
had by default devolved to the Ulster SPCA.

By creating a duty of care, said Sally Burnell of the
British Veterinary Association, the new law “shifts the emphasis
from taking action when cruelty has occurred to preventing cruelty
and suffering in the first place. However,” Burnell added, “the
bill is not perfect. Minister for agriculture and rural development
Michelle Gildernew originally set out to ban tail-docking dogs,”
consistent with BVA policy, but “Opposition to a complete ban at the
committee stage resulted in a wide exemption for working dogs.”

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