Northern Ireland Campaign
All powers on animal welfare which cover domestic, farmed and wild animals are devolved in their entirety to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Recently animal welfare has been high on the agenda at Stormont and has offered unique opportunities to improve legislation on a number of key issues including hare coursing, dog fighting and snaring.
After many years of campaigning by the League Against Cruel Sports, the Northern Ireland Assembly made the historic decision to ban hare coursing in June 2010 as part of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill. The hare coursing ban will be enabled into law when the Bill becomes an Act in April 2011. This great victory for animal welfare stands testament to the hard work and dedication of the League's supporters who have campaigned for years to make this happen.
Also, forty years on from the last comprehensive review on welfare for domestic animals, the Welfare of Animals Bill has now been agreed by the Assembly and awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill affords new powers in dealing with dog fighting and will also ban the docking of dogs’ tails. The League is disappointed however that the Bill stops short of a complete ban and allows for an exemption for working dogs.
Despite great efforts by the League, snares have not yet been banned in Northern Ireland. We will continue to campaign on snares in the coming years and urge you to get involved!