Alliance candidate for Lagan Valley, Councillor Aaron McIntyre, has said that we should all be concerned about the welfare of defenceless animals.
Councillor McIntyre was speaking after the Prime Minister, Theresa May, said she was in favour of fox hunting and would allow her MPs a free vote on removal of The Hunting Act.
He said: “Alliance has consistently campaigned against animal cruelty and for appropriate sentences for those convicted of such crimes. Thanks to David Ford, during his time as Justice Minister, those convicted of animal cruelty now face; increased maximum sentences for Crown Court cases from 2 years to 5 years; increased maximum sentences for Magistrates’ Court cases from 6 months to 12 months or increased maximum Magistrates’ Court fines from £5000 to £20,000.
“These changes have given Northern Ireland some of the strongest animal welfare legislation in the UK, and if elected I would push for these sentences to be brought in throughout England and Wales. I am completely against the removal of The Hunting Act in Great Britain. I also believe that Northern Ireland needs legislation to stop these barbaric ‘sports’ here. This is an area where Northern Ireland is weak at present. However, Alliance will seek to bring forward new legislation which would include a ban on hunting with dogs, the use of snares and wild animals in circuses. It is time we confined these barbaric practices to the history bin.”