Crowds protest against animal cruelty

Published Sunday, 27 April 2014
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Over 1,000 people have attended a rally in Belfast to protest against animal cruelty and to call for tougher sentences in animal abuse cases.

Crowds protest against animal cruelty
Scores of people descended on Belfast city hall for the demonstration. (© Pacemaker)

Crowds of people, many with their pets, gathered around City Hall for the Sunday afternoon protest.

The campaign originated after a group of individuals - frustrated with lenient sentences handed out in animal abuse court cases - organised through social networks.

George Anderson rescued the greyhound Norman, who had his ears cut off in an act of cruelty in order to hide his identity.

Speaking to UTV, George said tougher sentences were needed for those found guilty of animal abuse.

He said: "People are sick with the cruelty and abuse that is happening to animals and the courts are not handing out the appropriate sentences.

"People are walking free from court for the most horrendous crimes and it is not right.

"Stormont has to act to make sure people who abuse animals are properly dealt with and that they end up in prison," he said.

Janice Watt, from the League Against Cruel Sports, is also chair of Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary.

She added: "The large turnout has been a pleasant surprise, but not altogether unexpected.

"We want those in authority to act if there is an animal abused, suffering or neglected and also to ensure that we have system in place that deals with their needs.

"And also that those responsible are punished and punished in a way that deters others."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Alice in Belfast wrote (267 days ago):
In response to the comment below, the reason people are spurred to attend such a rally is obviously primarily the love of animals. But another very important reason is that animals unlike humans have no voice, have no way of protecting themselves, they rely solely on humans doing this work on their behalf, that is the difference from the crimes you describe. Another reason this rally has such relevance is that the crimes you are describing are frequently preceded by "lesser crimes" such as animals abuse - the individual later directing their abuse towards humans. This is a well-known fact. We should be nipping these problems in the bud.
sheena bleakney in belfast wrote (269 days ago):
again sorry i wasnt able to make it but well done. just a small comment in relation to a post from dee from newtownabbey it is possible to care for both animals and humans, the two arent exclusive to each other, and i feel that it would be the same people who would turn up to human and animal rights causes however animal cruelty is , not least in numbers, on an horrific scale in this country and world wide, skinned for fur, slaughtered for meat, tortured for sport, and abused as 'pets'. we need to be their voice xxx peace and love
Arlene in Belfast wrote (270 days ago):
I was at the rally on Sunday with my 2 dogs and it was great to see all the people supporting the animals and speaking out against animal cruelty and i will say this now if i have to stand at the City Hall Every Sunday or any other venue then so be it someone has to be a voice for the voiceless, I just hope those in power will strive to get the laws changed and there will be tougher sentences handed out sooner rather than later because this cruelty has to STOP !!!
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (271 days ago):
I don't disagree with this in principle but shouldn't people be more concerned about the cruelty to people that we hear about every day here. In particular the despicable racist attacks that are commonplace now especially in Belfast. Whilst not dispassionate whatsoever towards animals, I find it difficult to understand what spurs 1400 people to converge on city hall in protest at cruelty to animals yet they don't have the same strength of feeling to show similar solidarity towards their fellow human beings.
dog mom in belfast wrote (273 days ago):
wonder how many of the political speakers would have been there if it had been.the Sunday after the local elections.
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