DUP MLA for East Londonderry, Adrian McQuillan, has urged the Judiciary to implement maximum sentences in relation to animal cruelty cases as agreed by the NI Assembly.
MLA McQuillan said: “The number of animal cruelty cases on our news and television screens is grueling and deplorable, knowing that such cases exist in a region as small as Northern Ireland.
“I therefore welcome the increase in maximum sentences for animal cruelty cases not only as a means of a deterrent, but as a means of punishment for those found guilty of such heinous acts of cruelty to animals.
“The majority of people in Nothern Ireland are animal lovers, and such cases of animal cruelty go to say a lot about the character of some who are willing to cause harm to an animal.
“Only within the last week have we heard of a case of animal cruelty in Hillsborough, we have heard of an alleged case of animal cruelty carried out by a citizen of Northern Ireland across the Atlantic. This only goes to damage the reputation of NI Internationally, not only as a place to invest, but as a population who care for animals. This is further from the truth, but such headlines do not help our case.
I welcome this new legislation, but it is only useful if implemented and while this is up to the Judiciary, it should be clear that we as a people, represented by the NI Assembly, take any acts of animal cruelty seriously.” the DUP MLA said.