23 February 2017
DUP East Belfast candidate, Joanne Bunting has highlighted the need for a new, tougher sentencing regime in cases of animal cruelty.
Joanne Bunting said;
“I have been shocked by cases of cruelty which have been exposed recently, and sadly this has been compounded by some of the sentences that have resulted. As an animal lover I feel strongly about this issue and have taken a keen interest in it during my time to date as an Assembly Member, and will continue to do so if I am re-elected.
In Northern Ireland we have some of the strongest animal cruelty laws throughout Europe but unless tougher sentences are meted out, cases will continue to happen. In addition, the current system struggles to enforce banning orders due to the disjointed nature of how offenders are monitored. To address this I want to see the introduction of a Northern Ireland Register of Animal Cruelty Offenders.
This would be a first step in stamping out the problem and it is a very real example of how an Assembly can deliver for Northern Ireland. In order to make this happen, we need a strong, functioning Assembly. We were making progress but this has been hampered by recent events. We need to get back to work on this and other serious issues affecting our community as soon as possible.”