Target: Michelle McIlveen, Agriculture Minister, Northern Ireland
Goal: Implement proposed improvements to animal welfare laws, including harsher penalties for animal abusers.
Animal abusers could be facing stricter penalties under new proposed improvements to animal welfare laws in Northern Ireland. Some of the recommendations have already been implemented, including one that substantially increases the maximum penalty for animal cruelty to five years in prison. The action plan would also allow judges to more easily overturn overly lenient sentences for animal cruelty. The 68 proposed measures would also enable animal welfare regulatory bodies to work together to enforce the new penalties.
The recommendations follow public outrage after a series of serious animal cruelty cases where abusers have been let off with lax punishments. This includes a case where a man was found guilty of starving his dog to death, only to receive probation, a small fine, and 80 hours of community service. In this case, Robert Porter, 30, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of his dog when he didn’t feed the dog for three weeks, leaving it to die. He then let the dog’s carcass rot on his kitchen floor for four months before it was found.
More serious punishments for animal cruelty could mean that potential offenders are deterred from committing such crimes. It will also mean that abused animals receive proper justice when they are mistreated, neglected, or killed by careless or malicious humans. These new recommendations could curb animal abuse in Northern Ireland, and will also serve as a model for other countries to follow. Sign the petition below to show your support for these improved animal welfare laws.
Dear Mrs. McIlveen,
Proposed improvements to Northern Ireland’s Welfare of Animals Act would include harsher punishments for animal abusers and increased oversight and coordination of animal welfare enforcement bodies. The improvements would also allow judges to more easily overturn excessively lenient punishments for animal abusers. These laws come after public outrage over animal abusers getting off with slaps on the wrist, including one case where a man was given no jail time for failing to feed his dog for three weeks, allowing it to starve to death.
Improved animal welfare laws would not only help deter potential offenders, but would also ensure that abused animals receive the justice they deserve. These laws, if implemented, could serve as a model for other countries as well. We, the undersigned, ask you to do everything within your power to ensure that the new recommendations become law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Phil Calvert