Former North Down MLA Brian Wilson calls on the Northern Ireland Assembly to introduce legislation to ban hunting with hounds following the incident in Kircubbin where a family cat was torn to shreds by the hunt.
It is sickening that this barbaric practice continues in Northern Ireland while it is banned in the rest of the UK. As a cat owner and lover I totally understand the anguish this has caused to the owner and my heart goes out to her.
Last year I brought a Private Member’s Bill forward to ban hunting with hounds in an attempt to end this animal cruelty in Northern Ireland and bring our legislation into line with England, Scotland and Wales.
I was disappointed that the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected my bill as public opinion shows that the people of Northern Ireland want to see an end to animal cruelty and unnecessary suffering.
There is ample evidence to show that mammals hunted with dogs feel distress and pain and I have always pledged to promote and defend animal welfare – that is why I wanted to see the ban hunting with hounds extended to Northern Ireland.
I believe that blood sports are barbaric and that fox hunting, stag hunting, and hare coursing have no place in civilised society and must go the way of cock fighting and bear baiting. Hunting with hounds is cruel and has no place in the 21st century and seeing animals ripped to shreds by packs of dogs cannot be considered a sport by any right thinking individual and this recent incident highlights just how barbaric and indiscriminate it is
It is time that the Northern Ireland Assembly introduced legislation to ban hunting with hounds and end this barbaric practice.