Northern Ireland is best known for all the political turmoil that has occurred there for dozens of years. But there are animals there too, of course, and a group of citizens are finally addressing the vacuum of animal protection laws in the area.
The Animal Welfare Acts which were recently introduced in Scotland, England and Wales, put a legal ‘duty of care’ on owners to understand and provide for the needs of their pet. No such legislation currently exists in Northern Ireland.
A new group backed by Jim Wells, MLA for South Down, has been formed to support the development of companion animal legislation in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Companion Animal Welfare Committee (NICAWC) brings together vets and animal welfare organisations across the UK with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Representatives recently met officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to discuss future plans for improving the welfare of pets in Northern Ireland.
Photo by Moochin Photoman.