A PETITION started by a Tyrone politician calling for a new cross-border animal cruelty register has surpassed it’s target and collected almost 4,000 signatures.
SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn brought forward the petition which has been unanimously supported by all parties in the North as well as several TDs in the Republic.
The petition calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to work with the Irish Government to establish an island-wide register listing all individuals who have been convicted of animal cruelty and have been banned from keeping animals.
Quinn first brought the motion to Mid Ulster District Council in 2019 before it was adopted by many other councils in the North.
“Since 2019 I had been reading a lot of stories about puppy thefts and puppy farms and other animal cruelty stories. I started to think about what can we do to prevent this from happening,” the SDLP councillor for Torrent told the Tyrone Herald.
“It had been in my head for a couple of years, and so I got chatting to the USPCA to see would they support it and luckily they said they would. So we did a lot of research and put the initial motion together.”
At the time of writing the petition had already gathered well over the 3,700 signatures it had targeted, and Cllr Quinn added the aim was to pressure both the DoJ and DAERA into getting the ball rolling on the register.
“The relevant ministers have said they aren’t looking into it but neither are they against it so we just want to show them there is a need for this now, and especially with an all-island approach.
“Everybody has or knows someone with a dog or a cat and has read the stories.
“Pets are our family members and we need to look after them.”
Grovehill Animal Trust chairperson Janice Porter welcomed the introduction of the petition and said it was vital for animals to be protected from abuse.
“We believe that all animals have the right to a life free from pain, hunger, neglect, fear, abuse and discomfort and therefore we would be supportive of the implementation of an all island animal cruelty register. It’s vital that all animals are protected from abuse,” Janice said.