Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is this the future for England?

4,000 acts of horrific animal cruelty in Northern Ireland but just one court case

 Northern Ireland's equivalent of the RSPCA—the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—does not have the ability to prosecute cruelty. Its website states:
"We are a charity that provides a much needed voice for animals, we investigate issues that fall below the legislative radar, badger crime, dog fighting, puppy farms, equine cruelty, tame deer hunts etc. We lobby for changes in legislation, the recent ban on the sale in the EU of cosmetic products tested on animals is one example. As long as there are people in Society who derive pleasure from inflicting suffering on animals our voice will continue to be heard."

"Disgracefully Hunting with Dogs is NOT banned in NI, we are the only area of the UK where this travesty is permitted."
Until 2012 animal protection laws in Northern Ireland were enforced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Enforcement of welfare legislation relating to non-farmed animals was then transferred to local Animal Welfare Teams run by individual Local Authorities; see, for example the Coleraine Borough Council website.  Legislation relating to farm animals is enforced by the Department of Agriculture, while the police retain control of cases relating to wildlife and animal fighting. By the end of 2012 there were nine local authority Animal Welfare Officers for a population of just under 2 million people—for comparison the RSPCA provides twelve Inspectors and four Animal Collection Officers for every 2 million people in England and Wales and also has a network of branches and animal shelters to care for animals who need to be removed from their owners. The RSPCA also has veterinary resources to help owners who genuinely can't afford the full cost of veterinary treatment.

There is a concerted campaign to remove the RSPCA's ability to prosecute cruelty. This seems to be mainly orchestrated by pro-hunting groups.

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