Animal abuse register up for debate

SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack.  (DR4113JB145)
SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack. (DR4113JB145)

Calls for an all-Ireland register for animal abusers is due to be debated by Derry & Strabane Council this week.

SDLP councillor Shauna Cusack wants the British and Irish Governments to establish the register to prevent animals being placed in the care of those convicted of cruelty offences.

It follows a spate of high-profile attacks on animals recently.

Colr. Cusack says: “Over the last number of weeks, we’ve seen a number of high profile examples of how cruel and inhumane people can be to the animals placed in their care. The acid attack on a Staffordshire terrier in Newry and the admission by a man in Lurgan that he beat a puppy to death with a hammer are just two grotesque examples of how some animals have been treated. We also have documented incidents in our own City and District.

“Those responsible for these heinous crimes should face the full force of the law. Luckily, we have a robust framework for punishing those found guilty of these offences. I am concerned, however, that we have no central register of those convicted of animal cruelty. That means that we could be left in a situation where animals are inadvertently rehomed to banned persons, increasing the risk of serial offending. Providing an all-island register of animal abusers would help identify individuals who have been banned from adopting new animals and prevent the kind of unimaginable suffering that some pets have been exposed to here.”