09 September 2018
North Down DUP MLA Alex Easton has called for the introduction of Finn’s Law in Northern Ireland. The law is named after a stabbed police dog and would prevent attackers of service animals from claiming self-defence.
Speaking today Alex Easton said:
“We fully support The Service Animals (Offences) Bill 2018, known as 'Finns Law' and proposed by Sir Oliver Heald MP, that is currently proceeding through Westminster. It is only right and proper that this legislation should apply in Northern Ireland.
Our service animals provide an essential support to the community. It is unacceptable that, as a result of the training invested in them, that they are excluded from the protection offered under Animal Welfare legislation. This is an obvious wrong that needs to be put right.
Finns Law will ensure that the defence of fear, contained within Animal Welfare legislation, will not be apply when the injured animal is one that has received training, at public expense, to create intimidation or fear.
Finn’s Law is not about politics. This is about putting right an unacceptable flaw contained within current legislation.
It is immoral that the law does not protect those animals upon which we place so much demand and responsibility. These are animals who serve with such loyalty and dedication to keep us safe. The very least we owe them is the inclusion under Animal Welfare legislation. "