Councillor
Peter J. Martin
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Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Cathcart and Martin call for Animal Cruelty Review following Court Leniency

Monday 31st March 2014

DUP Councillors Alistair Cathcart and Peter Martin have tabled a motion at North Down Borough Council calling on tougher action against those who commit animal cruelty. This follows recent court leniency in cases of extreme animal cruelty, most notably the ‘Kirkwood Case’. Cathcart and Martin’s motion calls on the Northern Ireland Executive to both review existing animal cruelty legislation and to consider further legislation to combat this awful crime. The motion is due to be debated on Tuesday night (1st April) at the Council’s Environment Committee.

DUP Councillors Alistair Cathcart and Peter Martin have tabled a motion at North Down Borough Council calling on tougher action against those who commit animal cruelty. This follows recent court leniency in cases of extreme animal cruelty, most notably the ‘Kirkwood Case’. Cathcart and Martin’s motion calls on the Northern Ireland Executive to both review existing animal cruelty legislation and to consider further legislation to combat this awful crime. The motion is due to be debated on Tuesday night (1st April) at the Council’s Environment Committee.

Cllr Martin 

“Most decent and reasonable people will have been appalled and disgusted at recent high profile cases of animal cruelty within which have been highlighted in the media. Quite simply the law in Northern Ireland and most recently the legal precedent set in the ‘Kirkwood Case’ means that criminals who wish to abuse and torture helpless animals can do this wilfully and without danger of fitting punishment. The law now needs changed and this should be promptly considered by both the DARD and DoJ Ministers respectively. Until these people who carry out this abuse consider that there are serious criminal consequences to their actions they will continue to offend” 

Cllr Cathcart 

“Following the low number of convictions and the failure to impose the maximum sentences in a number of recent cases including the Kirkwood case, it is time for there to be a review of the implementation of our current legislation to ensure that it is used to maximum effectiveness to combat these awful crimes against defenceless animals. Both Cllr Martin and I however, think that we can go further, that’s why we are also calling on the DARD Minister, in conjunction with the Justice Minister to consider further legislation, including the possibility of introducing the offence of Aggravated Animal Cruelty which distinguishes between offences of neglect and those that are intentionally cruel and deliberate and would carry a higher penalty. We must send out a loud and clear message that society will no longer tolerate the torture of animals

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