The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and BVA Northern Ireland Branch has welcomed the publication of DARD and the Department of Justice’s final report of the Review of the Implementation of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and the report’s 68 recommendations, including tougher sentencing for those convicted of animal cruelty.
The report was launched in Belfast by the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and the Justice Minister David Ford.
Welcoming the report, Seamus O’Kane, BVA Northern Ireland Branch president said: “We are very pleased with these recommendations and the way in which DARD and the Department of Justice have worked together so quickly to put these recommendations into practice, accepting the recommendations before the publication of the report to allow necessary legislative changes to be made as early as possible.”
Sean Wensley, BVA president, commented: “These are strong recommendations matched by decisive action to make the necessary changes to ensure those who mistreat and abuse animals are punished effectively by the law, while also committing to provide education for young people and the wider public on how to meet the welfare needs of animals.
“The government in Northern Ireland has made a clear statement about how animals should be valued and this is something that is to be warmly welcomed.”