An overhaul of a one hundred-year-old act against animal cruelty is the focus of a march in Cork city this weekend. Hundreds of animal lovers and supporters of Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) are to descend on the Grand Parade tomorrow, Saturday from 1.30pm to call on Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to bring about a revised Animal Health and Welfare Bill as a matter of urgency.
ARAN’s John Carmody explained, “We’ve allowed our nation to go 100 years with legislation that was drafted back in the Titanic days." He added that the march will send a clear message to Minister Coveney "that animals are literally dying for new legislation and the time has now come for this to be made a priority”.
Mr Carmody highlighted that while England and Wales have updated their animal protection laws with the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Ireland has not been as proactive in protecting its animals. He explained that the main focus of the 1911 act is that of farm animals for the control and eradication of animal diseases, and the slaughter and disposal of animals/ animal by-products. This however, is both for farm and non-farm animals. Mr Carmody added that the only provisions for non-farm animals is that the owner must ensure they have shelter, food and water, with offenders receiving “slap-on-the-wrist" fines.
ARAN is urging that the new legislation should include stiff mandatory fines and jail sentences for convicted offenders of cruelty to animals and is pushing for the inclusion of a ban on fur farming in Ireland.