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Minister Introduces New Animal Welfare Bill

by 5m Editor
22 June 2010, at 10:01a.m.

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Minister Michelle Gildernew MP has introduced the Welfare of Animals Bill to the Assembly.

Following the Bill’s introduction, the Minister said, "The Welfare of Animals Bill is one of my key priorities and is part of my extensive programme of primary legislation which includes the Disease of Animals Act, the Forestry Bill and the Dogs (Amendment) Bill. The current welfare of animals legislation is almost 40 years old and while it has stood the test of time well, it no longer provides sufficient enforcement powers and associated fines and penalties for offences to deal with the wide spectrum of abuses that can affect the welfare of animals today.”

The Minister added, "The overall purpose of the Bill will be to prevent unnecessary suffering to any animal and set out obligations on people to secure the welfare of animals, including domestic pets, for which they are responsible. In particular, higher protection will be afforded to commonly domesticated animals, any animal under the control of man either temporarily or permanently, and any animal not living in a wild state.”

The Minister confirmed, "The Bill will also address the reported gap between the high protection afforded to farmed animals compared to the somewhat limited protection currently given to non-farmed animals."

The Minister concluded, "The Bill will increase the penalties for serious animal welfare offences, extend the powers of seizure and extend the ability to licence any activity involving animals.quot;