Election 2022 manifesto commitments

With the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections this week, we look at what the parties have committed to on animal welfare in their manifestos. You can check to see if your individual candidates have supported our pledge for an end to hunting wild mammals with dogs.

Alliance Party

Alliance has a good track record on animal welfare and actively seeks to tackle cruelty against animals. In the previous mandate the party introduced legislation in the Assembly to ban hunting wild animals with dogs. Unfortunately, the Bill failed at stage two. However, the party has committed to the following in its manifesto:

Alliance introduced legislation in the Assembly to ban hunting wild animals with dogs. Unfortunately, other parties did not share our desire to stop this awful practice and blocked the bill; we will reintroduce it in the next mandate to continue to clamp down on this barbaric practice.

In addition, it has a comprehensive list of animal welfare priorities which includes among others:

  • Using the UK’s global influence to end ‘trophy hunting’ and the trade of illegal animal products.
  • Outlawing the use of snares.
  • Improving information-sharing between animal welfare charities and statutory organisations in order to ensure that people who are banned from keeping domestic animals are prevented from doing so.
  • Improving the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by deploying more animal welfare officers.

    Democratic Unionist Party

    The League welcomes a strong commitment in the DUP manifesto on animal welfare, although this stops short of supporting an end to hunting wild mammals with dogs. The party states in its manifesto:

    The DUP believes Northern Ireland should have high animal welfare standards. We believe those who deliberately harm animals should be prosecuted and punished to send a deterrent message that such abuse will not be tolerated.

    Among its commitments to protect animals are pledges on the following:

    • Introduce and enhance Lucy’s Law in Northern Ireland to ban third party sales of dogs and pups.
    • Allocate more resources to tackling organised and cross-border crime that preys on the abuse and exploitation of animals.
    • Create a register of animal welfare offenders.

    Green Party Northern Ireland

    The Green Party Northern Ireland has the strongest credentials when it comes to advocating for animal welfare. We are pleased to see a number of commitments which align with the League’s work in their manifesto. The party states:

    The Green Party NI has led the way in campaigning against animal cruelty. Animals should be protected from maltreatment and abuse at the hands of humans. All animals must be treated humanely and with respect for their natural behaviours and needs.

    Among a long list of commitments, the party has pledged to:

    • Prohibit the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, prohibit trail hunting and terrier work and work to end all other bloodsports.
    • We will ban the sale, possession and use of snares.
    • Introduce Lucy’s Law to Northern Ireland and update in line with the
    • Justice for Reggie campaign.
    • Uphold the principles of the Welfare of Animals Act.
    • Oppose any attempt to introduce a badger cull.

      Social Democratic and Labour Party

      We’re delighted to see SDLP’s long running support for an end to hunting wild mammals with dogs voiced within their 2022 manifesto. Although animal welfare features less prominently, their commitments are important.

      The party’s manifesto includes a pledge to enhance animal welfare and states:

      The SDLP has worked with the USPCA to campaign for an Animal Cruelty Offenders Register. Together we secured the support of the Assembly and the Executive for a register. We will continue the campaign to establish the register in the next Assembly term.

      Importantly it commits to:

      • Support a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs

      Unfortunately Sinn Féin, Ulster Unionist Party, Traditional Unionist Voice and People Before Profit had nothing in their manifestos relating to animal welfare.

      Sign up for our newsletter

      We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

      If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

      © 2022 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
      Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
      Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.