Cases in 2014

Racecourse in Ireland cleared over five horse deaths in a day

Horsetalk.co.nz, 25/06/2014 

A racecourse in Ireland has been cleared over the deaths of five horses in a day during a meeting on June 13.

  Ireland’s Turf Club has concluded its investigation and found that the track at Clonmel Racecourse, in Tipperary, was not responsible for the deaths, noting that no trainer of jockey had blamed the track condition for the fatalities.

  The day of steeplechasing claimed the lives of Ballintotty Boy, Milan Elite, Oscar Pearl, Lisgreen Lad and Areyouforreal.

  The Turf Club, in announcing the findings of its inquiry, said it took into account events leading up to the race meeting and during the fixture.

  It said that in the lead-up to the fixture, the clerk of the course had carried out his pre-race day inspection at Clonmel on the morning of Wednesday, June 11. He then issued a message saying the ground was yielding following 11 millimetres of rain since Monday.

  The track foreman contacted the Turf Club press officer the next morning and a message was issued shortly after 8am saying that the ground was now good to yielding, with a forecast of warm and generally dry weather for that day and for Friday.

  A further ground update was issued at 8am on the morning of the meeting saying that the ground was now good following a dry and warm day on Thursday.

  The clerk of the course walked the course with the racetrack foreman at lunchtime on Friday and found the ground to be good, with a good covering of grass. The ground was officially given as good at that point, but was subsequently changed to good to firm after the fifth race.

  The investigation concluded that there had been no need to water the ground in the lead-up to the meeting.

  While there was no doubting the fact that the ground dried considerably on the day, no complaints were received by either the clerk of the course or the stewards from owners, trainers and riders regarding the condition of the ground.

  There were, the inquiry noted, three withdrawals due to the change in ground and in all cases the stewards allowed the withdrawals without penalty.

  No trainer or jockey attributed the fatalities to the state of the ground, the inquiry noted.



Dogs left for days without food and water in ISPCA run shelter

The charity say they have suspended two staff members in the Roscommon shelter.

Jounal.ie, 10/08/2014

THE ISPCA HAS suspended two staff members after 10 dogs at a Roscommon dog shelter were left without food and water for a number of days.

  The dogs were left abandoned for at least the August bank holiday weekend and were found after members of the public contacted gardaí expressing concern for the animals’ welfare.

  The shelter is run by the ISPCA and is part funded by Roscommon County Council with the animal welfare charity saying that they are treating the incident “extremely seriously”.

  Gardaí and a council employee entered the shelter last Monday after they were alerted by a member of the public that it was left unattended.

  The concerned person is understood to have initially noticed that the shelter was closed the week previously.

  The ten dogs which are believed to include huskies, labradors and collies were then removed from the shelter and nine were taken to a veterinary clinic in Cloverhill.

  All of the dogs are now understood to be healthy and are ready to be re-homed. Five are currently in the ISPCA dog shelter in Longford.

  One of the dogs was deemed to be aggressive and was assessed by an animal behaviour specialist but is now suitable for re-homing.

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly told TheJournal.ie that the dogs were not in a bad condition when they were were found but that it is “completely unacceptable” that they were left alone:

  The dogs were actually in good condition but they were slightly dehydrated and they were hungry. There is absolutely no truth the story that’s being reported that one of them was found with a wire around its neck.

  “They were however left without food and water which is completely unacceptable,” he said.

  Kelly added that they are “investigating the sequence of events” that led to the dogs being left left unattended and expected to complete the investigation in the coming days.

  All local authorities are required to provide services for the care of dogs and Roscommon County Council pays the ISPCA a yearly fee to run the shelter and to employ a dog warden



Cattle export story

Irish Examiner, 04/11/2014  

Greed was behind a fraud by one of Ireland’s biggest cattle exporters which saw diseased cattle delivered to Morocco.

  Paperwork indicating that the animals were healthy had caused potential reputational damage to the industry, a sentencing judge said yesterday.

  Judge David Riordan warned he would impose a four-year jail sentence on David Hunter, aged 61, of Castlekeun, Mallow, Co Cork if a €50,000 fine was not paid by December 1, 2015, and a further €50,000 by December 1, 2016.

  The judge said the potential reputational damage to the industry was “very serious”.

  Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said he did not know if Hunter would be able to pay the fines which could put him out of business.

  A co-accused Joan Stafford, aged 47, of 18 Nano Nagle Place, Killavullen, Co Cork, worked for 20 years for the Hunter family and it was claimed she was “brow-beaten” into taking part.

  She was given a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence and a 240-hour community service order on two charges.

  Sgt Shane Davern said the Moroccan authorities discovered diseased animals exported by Hunter that had been certified as healthy according to the documentation in August 2011.

  The sergeant said Hunter did co-operate with the subsequent investigation but he said there had been a dogged investigation by Department of Agriculture veterinary inspector Mary Cullinane.

  The sergeant said that when Ireland’s total live exports stood at 400,000 cattle per year, Hunter was exporting 10% of that amount — 40,000 animals.

  Sgt Davern said after 15 years without an Irish live cattle export to Morocco, serious efforts had been made by officers of the Departments of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs to establish the market.

  The Moroccan authorities were particularly concerned about keeping out two bovine diseases, namely IBR and BVD.

  A total of 120 cattle were exported to Morocco on June 30, 2011, by Hunter. Twelve of them tested positive in Morocco and had to be slaughtered.

  Judge Riordan noted: “Mr Hunter, with the assistance of Ms Stafford to a greater or lesser degree, sought to circumvent the conditions attached to the importation of live cattle to the Moroccan market.

  “In doing so they created a situation with the Moroccan authorities.

  “It is hugely regrettable that after the efforts made by the Irish authorities to open up this market, that the likes of Mr Hunter would put those markets in jeopardy. They do create a difficulty and affect the national economy. “These are crimes motivated primarily by greed. I see these offences as coming within the higher end of the scale in terms of deception.

  “An aggravating factor is putting in jeopardy the live export market.

  “Certification must have an integrity. The use of certificates in the manner described completely unwinds the system. It is hoped the Department of Agriculture has tightened up since 2011.”

  Sgt Davern said there were three kinds of fraud involved:

  Switching blood tests for healthy animals with those which had diseases; Presenting documentation to give the impression some diseased animals were being kept out; Changing a computerised form changing the word “positive” to “negative” in respect of animals for export.

  The sergeant said that the system had depended on an element of trust.

  Randall Hall BL said Ms Stafford lived in a council house and did not profit from what was done. He said she had felt brow-beaten into doing what she did.

  But Sgt Davern said that she had a hands-on involvement and played a very important part in the process.

  Both accused pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to various charges.

  Hunter admitted presenting cattle for export with false declarations on April 7 and June 30, 2011.

  Ms Stafford pleaded guilty to a charge in 2011 in which nine animal tag numbers on a list were falsified to show they corresponded to disease free animals, and furthermore, on June 30, 2011, she used a list containing three altered cattle tag numbers.



ISPCA worker is fired after leaving dogs without food

The ISPCA has confirmed that a member of staff has been dismissed after 10 dogs were left without food or water over a bank holiday weekend.

Irish Independent, 06/11/2014

The staff member was dismissed for gross misconduct, chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly said.

  The action followed an investigation by the society into the incident at Roscommon Dog Pound over two days of the August Bank Holiday period. The ISPCA has held the contract for managing the pound for Roscommon County Council for the last 27 years.

  A preliminary investigation was carried out after a member of the public alerted gardai to the situation at the pound in Rockfield, Donamon, on Monday August 4. Gardai and vets removed the 10 dogs from the shelter.

  The pound's members of staff were initially suspended by the ISPCA pending a full investigation into allegations that the animals had been left without food or water for 48 hours.

  Yesterday Dr Kelly confirmed that the incident had been fully investigated and one staff member had been dismissed. He also revealed that, as a result of the incident, the county council had accepted the society's offer to terminate its long-standing contract.

  "We took full responsibility for the incident that occurred over the bank holiday weekend in August and we took decisive action and we carried out a full investigation. As a result of that investigation a member of staff was dismissed for gross misconduct.

  "It was part of a review of services generally, but really the incident in August drove us to offer to terminate the contract and Roscommon gracefully accepted our decision", he said.

Dr Kelly explained that he felt the best thing to do after the incident at the Roscommon facility was for the charity to withdraw from its involvement there.

  He stressed that the decision to terminate the contract was driven by the ISPCA and it would not be bidding for the new one.

  Roscommon County Council is now re-advertising the contract for the operation of the county dog pound. Tenders are currently being invited for the operation of the service and a site visit to view the facilities at Rockfield will be held on November 11.

  Tenders have to be returned to the council by November 20.



Farmer anger after fox-hunting hounds killed by train

Irish Independent, 13/01/2014

FARMERS against fox hunting have expressed "extreme concern" over a pack of hounds wandering onto a railway track during a hunt at the weekend where several dogs were killed by a passing train.

  The farmers' group said it saw the incident as "yet further evidence of the havoc wrought by fox hunts" which it described as "an absolute menace to farmers and their livelihoods".

Iarnrod Eireann has confirmed that the 14.50 train from Waterford to Dublin's Heuston station hit a pack of hounds on the track at Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, just after 3pm on Saturday.

A spokeswoman said the rail company had not been contacted prior to the fox hunt. The train ploughed into the pack of dogs killing a number of them.


DANGEROUS

She said if they had been contacted they could have given the train timetable for the area but she also stressed that it was "very dangerous for people or animals to be on the track with trains passing at high speed".

  In most areas the track was protected by fences or hedges and to be on the track was trespassing, she added.

  Chairman of the Kilkenny foxhounds, Ned Morris, said that he was away on Saturday and "only came back, so I don't know how many dogs were killed".

  He said that the group would normally contact Iarnrod Eireann prior to hunting. The company would be good about "slowing down trains and that kind of thing" when hunts were being held, he said.

  "Dogs getting killed would be a kind of freak thing now," he added.

The Association of Hunt Saboteurs disagreed and condemned the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and protect their welfare.

  "The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident. Accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control," said a spokesman.

The Farmers Against Fox-hunting and Trespass group said it believed hunting should be banned.

  "Our main objection is the damage they cause to farm property.

"They ride through fields of crops, ripping them up and scattering or killing livestock, knocking fencing and, as frequently happens, killing family pets," the group said.



Foxhounds killed in collision with train; group calls for prosecutions

BreakingNews.ie, 12/01/2014

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called on Iarnród Éireann to prosecute a Kilkenny hunt for trespass after hounds were killed in a collision with the Dublin to Waterford train.

  The hounds were part of a pack taking part in a hunt outside Mullinavat in Co Kilkenny yesterday, when the collision occurred.

  A number of hounds were killed and there was a small amount of damage to the train.

  Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports accused fox hunters generally of an "arrogant and cavalier attitude to trespass onto other people’s property, be it private land, roads and railway tracks".

  She called for a ban on foxhunting, saying it "clearly causes a risk to rail and road users. If they want to ride out in the countryside, they should change to drag hunting, where no live quarry is chased and where the route is pre-planned in conjunction with landowners’ wishes."

  Richard Power of the Hunting Association of Ireland said that although he could not speak to the incident in question, in general terms he said that landowners are always notified of upcoming events.

  "Landowners would all be informed and would know that there would be a hunt in their area," he said. "This is standard practice.

  "Indeed, permission would be sought from them regarding access to their land."

The name of the group whose hounds were killed is not known at this stage.



Foxhounds killed after being hit by Iarnród Éireann train

Journal.ie, 12/01/2014

A number of foxhounds were killed yesterday after an Iarnród Éireann train hit the dogs who had strayed onto the railway track.

  It is believed the dogs were taking part in a hunt along the railway tracks.


Waterford to Dublin train

A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a pack of hounds that were on the railway line just outside Mullinavat County Kilkenny were struck by the 14.50pm train from Waterford to Dublin train.

  They also confirmed that a number of dogs were killed and the train suffered a small amount of damage.

  The incident also caused the train to be delayed for a period of time.

  “We would advise that no one should cross the railway line where there is not a designated crossing,” said the spokesperson, adding “it is extremely dangerous”.


No prior notification

She also added that no hunt group had given any prior notification that a hunt was taking place and that they would be crossing the line. “There were no prior arrangements made with Iarnród Eireann,” she said.

  The Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland said they “wholeheartedly condemn the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and to protect their welfare. The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident, accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control,” said their spokesperson.


Fox hunting

  “This is further proof that hunting with hounds is a danger to both animals and humans. Hunt hounds cannot realistically be controlled by hunt masters once they are on the scent of another animal. Hunting must be banned in this country for the welfare of all animals,” they added.

The name of the fox hunt group involved in this incident has yet to be verified. Hunt groups that operate hunts in the area have stated that they are not aware of any incident involving their group.



Puppies in Roscommon mutilated for “cosmetic reasons”

Shannon Side, 08/04/2014

The ISPCA is to take action against a dog owner in Roscommon after an Inspector called to a property in the county last week and found puppies whose tails had been docked.

  The litter of puppies was discovered after a call made to the charity’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline.

The docking of puppies tails, and the removal of dew claws by lay-person is outlawed under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act and carries significant fines.

  The ISPCA says the mutilation of young pups for no good reason will no longer be tolerated, and we need to get away from the attitude that some breeds don’t look right with long tails.

  Speaking on the Let’s Talk programme this afternoon, Dr Andrew Kelly, who is the new Chief Executive of the ISPCA says they are determined to enforce the new welfare act for animals, and will be taking action where they see it is necessary.



Seven puppies found dumped in bog

Athlone Advertiser. 01/08/2014

The ASPCA have reported that seven puppies have been found dumped in a bog in the same location a number of puppies were found a year ago.

  The Athlone Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were called to a bog road at Derrycahill, Ballyforan, Co Roscommon at around 9.30pm on Wednesday evening, after two cyclists reported hearing whimpering at a place where people frequently dump household rubbish.

  Knowing that abandoned pups would not survive the night, members of the ASPCA were on the scene as quickly as possible.

  “We got our wellingtons and flashlights out and drove as quick as we could as it was getting dark on a wet evening. After carefully searching through overgrown briars and broken glass we started finding pups one by one. We had got five into the safety of a warm blanket and were ready to go, when we heard more crying in the distance and finally found two more huddled up together in the dark with our flashlights,” explained Billy Gallagher of ASPCA.

  The ASPCA is asking that if any member of the public from this area knows of anyone who had one or two recently pregnant collie-type dogs to call them at (087 ) 9925052 or send a private message via their Facebook page - Athlone SPCA.

  “All information will be handled completely confidentially. This is the second year that pups were dumped in this exact same location,” said Billy.

“Abandoning animals is not only cruel but it is a criminal offence. When these pups are old enough we will try and get good homes for them. Please contact us if you can give one of these pups a forever home.”



Collie cuties DUMPED – along the same road where pups of the same breed were rescued by the Athlone SPCA last year

Evoke.ie, 31/07/2014

An animal welfare group was yesterday on the trail of an owner who abandoned seven pups along a bog road in the West.

  The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was the second year in a row that pups of the same breed were found in exactly the same spot.

  ‘We’ve got a very good lead about a dog owner not too far from where we found the pups and we’ll be visiting that person over the next day or so,’ said Billy Gallagher of the Athlone SPCA.

  A couple on a late-evening cycle along the bog road at Derrycahill, Ballyforan, Co. Roscommon alerted Billy after hearing whimpering from a location often used to illegally dump refuse.

  After searching the scene, Mr Gallagher discovered the pups. ‘They’d just been left there by the owner… Last year in exactly the same spot we found two pups of the same cross-breed – a Collie-cross – and one was already dead. I’d be pretty sure it’s the same person involved,’ he said.

  Now the Athlone SPCA plans to visit the person identified to them and ask about the abandoned pups.



Dogs left for days without food and water in ISPCA run shelter

The charity say they have suspended two staff members in the Roscommon shelter.

Journal.ie, 10/08/2014

THE ISPCA HAS suspended two staff members after 10 dogs at a Roscommon dog shelter were left without food and water for a number of days.

  The dogs were left abandoned for at least the August bank holiday weekend and were found after members of the public contacted gardaí expressing concern for the animals’ welfare.

  The shelter is run by the ISPCA and is part funded by Roscommon County Council with the animal welfare charity saying that they are treating the incident “extremely seriously”.

  Gardaí and a council employee entered the shelter last Monday after they were alerted by a member of the public that it was left unattended.

  The concerned person is understood to have initially noticed that the shelter was closed the week previously.

  The ten dogs which are believed to include huskies, labradors and collies were then removed from the shelter and nine were taken to a veterinary clinic in Cloverhill.

  All of the dogs are now understood to be healthy and are ready to be re-homed. Five are currently in the ISPCA dog shelter in Longford.

  One of the dogs was deemed to be aggressive and was assessed by an animal behaviour specialist but is now suitable for re-homing.

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly told TheJournal.ie that the dogs were not in a bad condition when they were were found but that it is “completely unacceptable” that they were left alone:

  The dogs were actually in good condition but they were slightly dehydrated and they were hungry. There is absolutely no truth the story that’s being reported that one of them was found with a wire around its neck.

  “They were however left without food and water which is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Kelly added that they are “investigating the sequence of events” that led to the dogs being left left unattended and expected to complete the investigation in the coming days.

  All local authorities are required to provide services for the care of dogs and Roscommon County Council pays the ISPCA a yearly fee to run the shelter and to employ a dog warden.



DEAD DOGS FOUND AT HOME OF DONEGAL MAN IN ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE

Roscommon Herald, 19/02/2014

A Donegal man has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after pleading guilty to seven counts of cruelty to the animals.

  George Cavanagh, of Carrowhugh, Greencastle, Co. Donegal was convicted at Donegal District Court.

  Eighteen dogs were found living in poor conditions at his property and ISPCA inspectors also found the decomposing and unburied carcasses of three other dogs.

The 77-year-old, who refused to give up his dogs voluntarily, was also fined €500.



ISPCA warns horse owners after ex-racehorse found starving in Westmeath

Newstalk, 22/04/2014

The ISPCA is warning horse owners to properly update ownership details after a former racehorse was found starving and close to death. The horse - whose racing name was 'Suspect' - was discovered on vacant land in Athlone in Co. Westmeath in November.

  The horse was so emaciated he could barely stand before being rescued by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons. She found him discarded on disused development land in the Athlone area after a call was made to the ISPCA confidential animal cruelty helpline by a concerned member of the public.

  While his registered owner was located, it has been claimed that he was sold at the Banagher Fair last September. The ISPCA says efforts to establish who was responsible for his care are on-going and so far proving unsuccessful.

  But details on his micro-chip confirmed he was a racehorse.

  He was due to run in Roscommon in May of last year, but was withdrawn due to injury. Cisco was taken to the ISPCA National Animal Centre for urgent veterinary care and rehabilitation and has made a good recovery.

  ISPCA CEO Dr. Andrew Kelly believes the horse, who has now been re-named 'Cisco', was abandoned after his racing career ended because of injury.



'Evil' Andrew Stewart jailed for setting fire to family dog Cody

Belfast Telegraph, 07/10/2014

An "evil" man who set fire to a family's pet dog has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.  see more



Man jailed for setting dog on fire

Andrew Stewart, who doused border collie in diesel, to spend 10 months in jail over case that shocked Northern Ireland

Guardian, 07/10/2014  see more



Man jailed for setting fire to family dog which had to be put down two weeks after 'evil' attack

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

  • Andrew Richard Stewart, 23, doused Cody in fuel before setting her alight

  • The border collie, three, was so badly burned that her ribs were visible

  • Had to be put down two weeks later after being told she would not recover

  • 70 campaigners applauded as Stewart was jailed at Belfast Crown Court

  • Recorder said it was an 'appalling, vile act' on a 'much-loved' family pet  

  • Cody's relieved owner Nicola Agnew said the family could now have closure

  • Co-defendant Jamie Downey, 23, also jailed for perverting course of justice

Mail, 07/10/2014
see more


Warning graphic content: Horrifying video shows blood thirsty dogs tear fox limb from limb in Waterford
Irish Mirror, 17/09/2014
see more 


Man caught torturing flatmate’s puppy on iPad recording fined €100

Irish Examiner, 26/09/2014

A woman became suspicious that her flatmate was injuring her puppy so she set up her iPad to record him.

  Kevin Louin’s housemate hid her iPad in the kitchen of the house they shared with others. Her pup had sustained a number of unexplained injuries and she began to suspect Louin was hurting the dog on purpose.

  On January 19, she hid her iPad and left the house for a short while. When she returned, she watched footage showing Louin pulling the puppy from the dog bed in the kitchen and sitting on the six-month-old pup, causing her to yelp in pain.

  She called the gardaí and two gardaí from Tallaght arrived at the house at Alderwood Avenue, Tallaght. In Tallaght District Court yesterday, Sergeant Bernard Jones said that, on that date, the dog had a broken paw and this was evident from the footage. Louin also tried to strangle the dog.

  Louin, aged 32, with an address at Exchange Hall, Belgard Square, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to beating, kicking, torturing, and terrifying the pup.

  Sgt Jones said Louin later came to Tallaght Garda Station and was shown the iPad video. He admitted that he tried to sit on the puppy and tried to strangle her.

  Louin, who represented himself, also gave a voluntary cautioned statement in which he admitted kicking the dog on several occasions — even ones that the owner of the dog had not known about.

  Sgt Jones said Louin, who is originally from France, had no previous convictions. He said Louin moved out after the incident.

  Judge Lindsay fined him €100.



Father and sons plead guilty to dog fighting charges

NewsLetter, 14/01/2014

A father and two sons from east Belfast have pleaded guilty to charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

  Jeremiah Kirkwood (43) and his sons Christopher (23) and Wayne (20), who are all from Island Street, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

  All three originally faced a total of 15 charges, but after pleading guilty to three charges each, the remaining counts were left on the books.

  Each of the three men admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross puppies on dates between November 1 and November 28, 2011.

  They also pleaded guilty to possession of items for use in connection with an animal fight, namely a CD7 battery pack, handheld lamps, a green dog harness and an animal trap. The father and two sons also admitted a charge of keeping or training animals for an animal fight on dates between July 10 and November 28, 2011.

  The final charge relates to four bull lurcher dogs.

  A co-accused, 19-year old Jamie Edward Morrow from McAllister Court in Belfast, originally faced three charges. Two of these were left on the books after he admitted a charge of keeping or training an animal for a fight, namely a whippet cross Staffordshire bull terrier, on November 27.

  After the guilty pleas were entered, Judge Donna McColgan ordered that pre-sentence reports be prepared for all four men. The Judge agreed to release them on continued bail but said: “this is no indication of the likely outcome of the case”, which will be heard before the same court on February 21.

  Also appearing in the dock of the same court was Catherine Kirkwood from Island Street in Belfast.

  Wife of Jeremiah and mother of Wayne and Christopher, the 43-year old originally faced a total of 15 charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

  A jury was sworn in to hear the case, but a prosecutor told the Judge and jury that the Crown would be offering no evidence against her.

  Judge McColgan directed the jury to find Catherine Kirkwood not guilty of all the charges against her and when they were discharged, Kirkwood was told she was free to go.



Man arrested after dog killed in Dublin field yesterday afternoon

The animal was found dead at the grounds of Clonliffe College.

Journal.ie, 20/08/2014

A MAN WAS arrested after a small dog was killed yesterday afternoon at the grounds of Clonliffe College in Dublin.

  Gardaí and members of the Dublin Society of Cruelty to Animals were called to a football field at the grounds near to Croke Park in Drumcondra.

  There they found a small terrier that had apparently been killed at the scene.

  The DSPCA says that it is unclear whether the man was the owner of the dog or had come upon it at the scene.

  They say that the dog had received severe injuries from which it did not recover. The animal was taken away to a veterinary practice in UCD where a post-mortem will be carried out.

  Gardaí have confirmed that a 43-year-old man was arrested following the incident and was taken to Mountjoy Garda Station where he was questioned. He was later released without charge with a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  A DSPCA spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that one of the regular problems with securing convictions in cases of animal cruelty is a lack of witnesses or witnesses that are willing to come forward.

  It is believed that there were a number of people in the vicinity of the Clonliffe College area who may have seen what happened yesterday.

  The DSPCA say that any witnesses to this or any other incident can contact them in confidence at cruelty@dspca.ie.



‘In my 23 years as a dog warden, I’ve never seen such a horrendous act of animal cruelty’

The German Shepherd had to be put down. Warning: Images are graphic.

Journal.ie, 25/08/2014

see more 


‘Vile’ killing of foal must be catalyst for action on horses in estates

SF councillor calls for stables to be develop for city horses

Galway Advertiser, 26/06/2014

The horrific killing of a foal on the city’s east side has led to calls for the development of community fields and stables, as a way to tackle the problem of horses in the city, and prevent any more horses coming to serious harm.

  Recently on the city’s east side, a young foal was beaten to death by a group of youths, and its body subsequently set on fire. The action has resulted in condemnation from local politicians and the establishment of an online petition calling on the Galway City Council to enforce existing animal welfare/protection laws.

  The killing of the foal has not only highlighted instances of animal cruelty in the city, but also raised again the vexed issue of horses being kept in residential estates.

 Sinn Féin councillor Mairéad Farrell, who described the incident as a “vile” and “horrendous and wanton killing”, said the only way to prevent such an instance from recurring is by tacking “anti-social behaviour and the presence of horses in housing estates”.

  Cllr Farrell said horses cannot be allowed to remain on housing estates and that there must be “no exceptions” made in this regard. However she acknowledged that many young people on estates are “deeply enthralled with horses” and that this interest should be supported and developed.

  As a result she is calling on the Galway City Council to develop a community project where fields are provided and stables developed for horses. “This would tackle both the horse problem and to a certain extent also the problem of anti-social behaviour,” she said, as it could lead to more interest in equine welfare among young people in estates where horses are a common sight.

  Cllr Farrell added that to further combat anti-social behaviour, more gardaí are needed “on the beat”, and local representatives given “a direct input into local policing plans”.

  The Galway City East councillor is seeking the support of her fellow elected representatives for her call for to develop stables and fields for city horses.

  “It is essential Galway councillors speak with one voice on this issue and seek the extra funding needed,” she said. “As the National Youth Council has observed, for every €1 invested in youth work €2.22 is saved in other services. The State would make major financial savings by investing in our youth.”

  The killing of the foal has also led to a petition thepetitionsite.com calling on the council to enforce animal welfare laws. The petition accuses City Hall of failing to enforce the microchipping of horses; and of not taking action over how horses are treated.

  The petition alleges that some horses are “often tied up for days on end in small fields in the middle of our housing estates and on wholly unsuitable hardstands, often with no water”.

Notification of the petition has been sent to all Galway City Council members, the Garda Superintendent in Mill Street, and the Garda Communications Office.



Charity worker fined €250 after starved dogs and animal skulls found

Journal.ie, 14/07/2014

WARNING: This article contains some graphic images. see more


Wild heifer shot dead at Kilmallock mart

Independent.ie, 13/08/2014

A LIMERICK mart was forced to shoot a heifer that became completely unmanageable during its weekly sale at Kilmallock last week.

  Mart manager, PJ Buckley made the decision to shoot the Limousin heifer in the interests of public health and safety.

  Over 1,000 animals were going under the hammer at Kilmallock on the day and over 200 buyers were present at the time of the incident which happened just after lunchtime at Monday's sale last week.

  The last time such drastic action was required at Kilmallock was over 12 years ago, according to mart spokesman, Denis Buckley.

  The heifer, which was one of a draft sent to the mart by a local farmer, became unruly in her pen and broke out into the coral area which adjoins the mart.

  Several attempts by mart staff to coax the unruly animal back into her pen were unsuccessful and soon it became obvious that drastic action would have to be considered.

  "The animal could have crossed an area which was used by staff and people attending the mart and as you know humans and animals do not match in this type of situation," explained Mr Kirby.

  "There have been too many farm accidents this year and the mart was not going to be responsible for another agri-related accident. It all became a question of being safe rather than sorry," he added.

When it became obvious that the animal could not be restrained the mart called in a competent local rifleman, and he dispatched the heifer into a ditch adjoining the pens with a single shot.

  Buyers and sellers attending the mart were unaware of what was going on outside and business at the weekly sale was unaffected by the incident.

  Similar Limousin heifers currently command an average price of €1,100 and the mart management subsequently came to an agreement with the vendor farmer on compensation for the shot heifer.

  The remaining animals in the farmer's draft were successfully sold later at the mart.

"This is a very rare incident. The animal was not kicking 
or bawling but became completely unmanageable," said Mr Kirby.



Young peregrine falcon shot down on one of its first flights

Breaking News.ie, 13/08/2014

A young peregrine falcon has been shot down in Co Wexford.

  The bird - which was on one of its first flights - was shot with a shotgun at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy. It had to be put down as a result of its injuries.

  An X-ray has confirmed the falcon was shot with shotgun pellets in its wing and leg. An identification ring placed on the bird’s leg in June of this year showed that it was a young bird on one of its first flights.

  The Parks and Wildlife Service is appealing for the public's help as the bird is a protected species, and shooting them is a criminal offence.

  Dominic Berridge from the Service said: "There seems to have been an increase in the deliberate killing of peregrines in recent years with several unexplained nest failures in the south-east. The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident.

  "There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests…If people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called."

  The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, added: "It is intolerable for protected birds of prey to be persecuted, poisoned or shot.

"Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife. I would urge anyone to report such incidents to the National Parks and Wildlife Service in my Department."



Appeal after peregrine falcon illegally shot in Co WexfordProtected bird of prey had to be euthanised by parks service due to severity of injuries

Irish Times, 13/08/2014

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is has appealed for information after a young peregrine falcon was illegally shot in Co Wexford.

  The native bird of prey had to be euthanised by the parks service after it was found shot at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy due to the severity of its injuries.

  X-rays showed that the bird was hit with shotgun pellets in its wings and leg, the Department of Arts and Heritage said in a statement. Vets said the injuries were so bad that rehabilitation was unlikely.

  The falcon was young and on one of its first flights, according to an identification ring on its leg.

  The parks service has raised concern about an increase in the deliberate killings of peregrines in recent years. It said there were several unexplained nest failures in the south-east.

  “The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident. There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests and if people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called,”Dominic Berridge of the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve at the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) said.

  It was “intolerable” for birds of prey and other wildlife “to be persecuted, poisoned or shot,”Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

  “Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife,” she said. She urged the public to report incidents to the NPWS.

  Peregrine falcons are a protected species and receive high legal protection under law . The killing of them is a criminal offence.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Mr Berridge at 076-1002660




Animal welfare centre convicted of ill-treating dogs is funded by the State

Irish Mirror, 04/08/2014

East Galway Animal Rescue has been receiving grand aid from Department of Agriculture since 2003

  An animal welfare sanctuary convicted of ill-treating dogs has been receiving State funding for the last ten years, it has emerged.

The founder of the East Galway Animal Rescue, Sarah Gunter of Kylebrack, Loughrea, pleaded guilty last month to eight charges of ill-treating a variety of dogs.

  The sanctuary has been receiving grant aid from the Department of Agriculture since 2003 and most recently was awarded funding of €4,000 in 2012.

  Figures for 2013 and the current year are not to hand.

  There are no restrictions on a person operating a voluntary dog pound and no requirement to be registered.

  East Galway Animal Rescue primarily deals with bull breeds of dogs, but also deals with other breeds as well as cats.

  The dogs that were ill-treated included Staffordshire bull terriers, a Rotweiler, a pit bull terrier, a Dogue de Bordeaux and a mixed breed.

  One of the dogs belonged to Ms Gunter and she told Loughrea District Court that what had occurred was “an error of judgment” on her part.

  Ms Gunter insisted that she would never hurt an animal.  

  The court heard that gardai were contacted by the Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in July of last year to go to the sanctuary in Kylebrack where one dog was running freely and seven others were in a derelict farm building.

The dogs were found to be in an emaciated condition when removed from the property and examined by a vet.

  The court heard that Sarah Gunter had operated the East Galway Animal Rescue for the past 17 years and her whole life revolved around the animals.

  Her solicitor said that kennels at the Rescue were undergoing repairs at the time and, after the dogs came down with diarrhoea and intestinal problems, she had separated them from the other animals.

  The East Galway Animal Rescue was reliant on donations from members of the public and Ms Gunter made no money from operating it. Two random inspections carried out since had not shown any problems.

  Vet James Smith said that the dogs were emaciated when he examined them the day after they had been taken from the Rescue. He found no evidence that the animals had been suffering from diarrhoea as claimed by Ms Gunter.

Judge William Hamill imposed a fine of €250 along with €600 expenses and said that Ms Gunter’s own dog could be returned to her.



Bord na gCon says it knows owners of shot greyhounds

Irish Times, 12/04/2014

The Irish Greyhound Board has confirmed it has identified the owners of a number of greyhounds, whose decomposing carcasses were found dumped in a disused quarry at Ballyagran, west Limerick, over the Easter weekend. It is believed the dogs were shot in the head and then discarded in contravention of the recently introduced Greyhound Welfare Bill.

  Bord na gCon said it was “working with gardaí to bring the offenders to justice” and “condemned” such actions. It added that identification markings on some of the dogs “were still intact” and “the owners of same has already been identified and will now be questioned”.

Newcastle West gardaí are investigating and are due to question the owners identified.



Gardai seize deer's head as Operation Bambi hits poachers

Irish Independent, 22/04/2014

This is the deer's head that has been seized as part of an investigation into poaching code-named Operation Bambi.

  The discovery was made by Tallaght gardai when five officers entered a house last Friday week after they obtained a warrant under the Wildlife Act.

  It is understood that the head belonged to a deer that was poached using two lurchers and a spotlight in the Dublin Mountains.

  Sources have revealed that gardai were alerted to the situation after an image of the deer's head was placed on Facebook.

  Operation Bambi, being conducted by gardai and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, is co-ordinated by Insp Martin Walker who is based at Carlow garda station.

  It is understood that the Facebook image of the deer's head was sent to Insp Walker who was passed on the information to colleagues in Tallaght who then conducted a search of the house.

  Commenting on the seizure, Damien Hogan, the secretary of the Wild Deer Association of Ireland said: "The Wild Deer Association of Ireland welcomes this development and would like to thank all involved."

  "There has been a significant increase in the number of successful prosecutions and detections in recent months, and we would encourage our members and supporters to continue to report suspected incidents of deer poaching."

The Herald revealed last December that a gang that gardai targeted was responsible for poaching up to 200 deer after boasts about their exploits were posted on Facebook.

  The deer hunters has been operating without licences in counties Wicklow, Carlow and Kilkenny and were under investigation by gardai since the start of the season last September.

  Senior sources said that one suspect used Facebook to boast he has killed 15 deer in one night, and that gardai would not catch him.

  The poachers operated with the help of a high-powered lamp and an electronic device imitating the call of a stag during the rut, or mating season, in October.

  This attracted stags to come out of their cover in heavily forested areas and become easy targets for the poachers.

  Co Wicklow is reckoned to have the highest concentration of Sika deer in Europe after it was introduced from its native Japan by Lord Powerscourt in 1859, at his estate near Glencree.

  Sika and red deer are closely related, and as a result of inter-breeding, all of the deer now in Wicklow are hybrids.

  It is estimated that about 12,000 of the 32,000 deer shot under licence last year were killed in Wicklow, while hundreds more fell victim to poachers.

  It is understood that venison from poached Irish deer is being exported.

  Intelligence available in the Operation Bambi team indicates that some of those involved are supplying poached deer directly to British dealers who collect carcasses at pre-arranged locations using refrigerated lorries.

It is believed some of those involved are supplying poached deer directly to British dealers.



Animal cruelty case farmer hit with lifetime ban

Farmers Weekly, 26/02/2014

A Northern Ireland livestock farmer has been banned from keeping livestock for life after his father died and the farm fell into disrepair.

  William Beacom of Middle Farm, Trasna Road, Maguiresbridge, was handed the lifetime ban and a four-month prison sentence suspended for three years after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to properly care for animals on his farm.

  Mr Beacom, 30, was also found guilty of failing to prevent animals from accessing the carcass of a farmed animal.

  Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard that government officials discovered more than 20 decaying cattle, sheep, pig and poultry carcasses, while starving cattle were found in direct contact with dead animals.

  Dard veterinary staff who visited the farm every day between 21 March 2013 and 20 April 2013 also found a build-up of dung in cattle sheds and three cows and calves being kept in a silage pit without water.

  In another instance a cow was found dead underneath a drinking container.

  Dard staff said they were shocked at the conditions and the “above normal” mortality rate at the farm.

  Despite repeated visits from officials, the court heard Mr Beacom was unable to meet his livestock’s basic requirements of providing food, water and dry bedding.

  Defence barrister Craig Patton said conditions on the farm had deteriorated following the death of Mr Beacom’s father, which had left him unable to access the single farm payment.

  Poor silage, his mother’s health problems and the suicide of his grain supplier had all affected Mr Beacom’s mental state and left him unable to find money to sustain the farm.

  While he knew what was happening was not right, Mr Beacom was £20,000 in debt and had no idea what to do, said Mr Patton.

  His mental health had been so badly affected that a local psychiatrist was concerned he was going to take his own life, he added.

  Since facing prosecution, Mr Beacom had sold the farm’s livestock and hoped to rebuild his credibility in the farming world by undertaking farm management courses, the court was told.

  Sentencing Mr Beacom, district judge Nigel Broderick said while the death of his father, his mother’s illness and cashflow problems were contributing factors, they did not excuse Mr Beacom’s actions.

  Recognising Mr Beacom’s financial situation and mental health concerns, the judge decided not to impose a fine, but said the crimes were serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

  Mr Beacom, who has decided to appeal the ruling, was told he could apply to have the lifetime ban revoked after two years.




Rescued: blind 'baby machine' boxer dog entombed in hole to die

Belfast Telegraph, 06/05/2014

A blind boxer dog thrown down a concrete hole and left to her fate had been used as a "breeding machine", according to the founder of an animal rescue centre.

  The dog was discovered by Cara Bideau as she played near her home in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

  The six-year-old spotted the animal trapped down the concrete hole in waste ground.  Little Cara ran home and told her father Kenny, who rescued the distressed animal.

  Mr Bideau said he was shocked by the level of obvious cruelty.

"Cara came home and said a pup had fallen down a manhole, but when I went with her back to where the dog was I could see that wasn't the case at all," he said.

"This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.

"A wooden pallet had been placed over the hole and rocks put on top to keep it there, so that the poor dog couldn't get out.

"I was even more shocked when I freed the dog to see how her ribs were sticking out, so it had been quite a while since she had eaten, and then to top it off, we found out she was blind. It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.

"We are a family of animal lovers and have a dog ourselves, so we took her home with us and gave her a tin of food, which she gulped down in under 15 seconds.

"We kept her at home that night and let her sleep on the sofa because she was clearly exhausted and distressed. In fact, my 15-year-old son Ethan slept on the other sofa to help her settle before we contacted the Rainbow Centre.

"We would consider fostering the poor dog until a permanent home can be found for her. We reckon she deserves to be shown some love after what she has been through, and she is very gentle and affectionate."

Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre took the dog to a vet, who believes the animal was used for extensive breeding and then discarded when she was no longer useful.

  Ms Davis added: "The vet has found evidence that this dog was bred and bred and bred until she could no longer produce pups.

"She is emaciated so we can only guess how long she had been left in this concrete grave and left to starve to death.

"Just recently I gave evidence at an animal cruelty court case in Northern Ireland where the judge told a woman it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen, but then he let her walk free from court with a suspended sentence.

"That is sending out the wrong message – in my opinion people need to be spending time behind bars for behaviour like this."


"I have lost count of the number of times we have come across instances like this boxer dog where animals have been used to churn out pups for sale by people who run puppy farms, and they are getting away with it. Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast a couple of weeks ago to show how sickened they are by animal cruelty and it was heartening to see."

Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre



Former Tyrone footballer faces badger baiting charge

Tyrone Times, 11/04/2014

DUNGANNON man and former Tyrone GAA star, Gerard Cavlan, has appeared before the local Magistrates Court on a charge of interfering with a badger sett.

  The 38 year-old, from Willows Gardens, appeared alongside Shane Loughran, 33, of Clonmeen Cottages, also Dungannon.

  The men are accused of intentionally or recklessly obstructing access to a badger sett contrary to the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

  Cavlan won an All Ireland medal with Tyrone in 2003.

  Although only minimal details of the allegation were conveyed to Dungannon Magistrates Court, a prosecution lawyer said police were called to an incident of suspected badger-baiting on the Caledon Estate on August 29 last year.

  A defence barrister said he was aware the prosecution had engaged an expert to provide evidence and he required time to study this, requesting a four week adjournment.

  However, District Judge John Meehan adjourned the case for two weeks until April 23 when a contest date is to be fixed.



RTE News, 04/04/2014

An investigation is under way in Co Clare into a suspected case of animal cruelty.The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said the carcasses of nine horses, three cattle and three calves were found this week at the foot of Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

  ISPCA officer Frank Coote said the "evidence suggests" the animals were thrown from the cliff top.

  Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Coote said it was difficult to identify the animals.

  He said the horses did not have microchips and that there were no tags on the cattle, as their ears had been cut off.

  Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said that he is "extremely concerned" at the discovery of the carcasses.

  Mr Coveney said: "The matter is now the subject of an urgent investigation involving the department, the gardaí and Clare County Council."

  A huge amount of work has been done in recent years in the area of animal welfare, including significant new legislation and regulations around the treatment and ownership of animals, and year-on-year increases in funding, he said.

  The vet who attended the scene said it is more likely an environmental and public health issue rather than a case of animal cruelty.

  Fergal Hennessy from the Kilkee Veterinary Clinic attended to one emaciated horse found alive on the cliff top.

  However, he said it would have been common for dead animals to be disposed of from a cliff and that the site was most likely used as a "dumping ground".

  He said the Government and Minister Coveney had taken a particular interest in animal welfare, but said there was more to do.



Man kept 18 dogs in a jeep and shed with no access to waterThe man was banned from keeping dogs for ten years.

The Journal.ie, 20/02/2014

A DONEGAL MAN has been banned from keeping dogs for ten years after he pled guilty to a number of counts of animal cruelty yesterday.

  77-year-old George Cavanagh, with an address at Carrowhugh, Greencastle, Co. Donegal pled guilty to seven counts of cruelty at Carndonagh District Court.

  At that time, ISPCA Officer Kevin McGinley and Gardai inspected Mr. Cavanagh’s home place and an out-farm where they found 18 dogs living in poor conditions.

  Some were tied on short tethers and others confined in sheds and a stationary jeep with inadequate ventilation.

  Many were deprived access to water and suitable shelter and bedding.

  As well as the living conditions of the dogs, the gardaí and inspectors discovered the decomposing and unburied carcasses of three other dogs.

  The court heard how Inspector McGinley had tried to persuade Mr Cavanagh to voluntarily surrender the majority of the dogs to the care of the ISPCA, but that he refused to cooperate.

  Judge Paul Kelly banned Mr. Cavanagh from keeping dogs for ten years and fined him a total of €500. He also ordered that Mr. Cavanagh pay costs of €400 to a vet that accompanied the Gardai and ISPCA on an inspection.

  The vet, Stuart Johnston, requested that his fee be paid to the ISPCA.

  Speaking after the ruling, ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley said

“This case has taken a long time to be finalized and I am pleased that the conclusion was successful. The ban will prevent a similar situation arising again for the foreseeable future”.



An ISPCA inspector and gardaí found two emaciated boxer dogs at the woman’s house a year ago.

The Journal.ie, 06/02/2014

A DONEGAL WOMAN has been convicted of animal cruelty and told that she cannot keep dogs for two years.

The ISPCA said that the Donegal woman was convicted of animal cruelty at Letterkenny District Court today.

  ISPCA Inspector McGinley said of the dogs that were found by him at the woman’s property:

  These dogs were as emaciated as any I have seen in my 14 years with the ISPCA. It is important that those responsible for such severe cruelty are held accountable to send out the message that it will not be tolerated.

  The Donegal woman submitted a guilty plea through her solicitor Frank Dorrian, said the ISPCA.

  They said that the case is related to a call made by ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and Gardaí to the woman’s address on 15 January 2013, when two emaciated boxer dogs were discovered.

  The ISPCA said that the dogs were two-year-old brothers and were named Oscar and Elmo by rescuers. The canines were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA and taken for veterinary treatment.


Banned

The ISPCA said that Judge Paul Kelly banned Gallagher from keeping dogs for two years.

  He also adjourned the matter until 9 June for final sentencing.

  It was noted in court that the ISPCA had incurred costs of €652.26.

  When Oscar and Elmo were rescued, the vets who examined them gave them a body score of just one out of five.

  The duo went on to make a full recovery at the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre and were later rehomed.



The surviving dog Willow is being cared for around the clock by the DSPCA.

The Journal.ie, 21/01/2014

THREE DOGS HAD to be put down by the DSPCA after inspectors uncovered a horrific case of animal cruelty in Dublin.

  Inspectors from the DSPCA say that another dog found is in a serious condition and is being monitored 24 hours a day.

  The charity say that they were called to a housing estate after a case of cruelty to a dog had been reported.

  When arriving at the house, the inspectors in fact found four dogs living in what was described as “appalling conditions”.

  The floors were covered in faeces and waste material and all dogs were in terrible conditions suffering from emaciation as well as skin conditions and inflammation of the ears.

  Gardaí assisted inspectors in removing the dogs from the house but three of them were in such a severe state that they were euthanised.

  The fourth dog Willow is currently being cared for.

  Inspectors say that the skeletal and decomposed remains of a number of cats were found in an outside shed.

No arrests have been made but investigations into the case are continuing.



Men plead guilty to training dogs for animal fightsThe PSNI said that the men were aged 43 and 19 years of age.

The Journal.ie, 14/01/2014

A TWO-YEAR investigation into dog fighting saw two men pleading guilty today to keeping animals for use in animal fighting.

  The PSNI welcomed the guilty plea by 43-year-old, Jerimiah Kirkwood, Chris Kirkwood (23) and Wayne Kirkwood (20) from East Belfast, in relation to keeping or training animals for use in connection with animal fights; ownership of items in connection with an animal fight; and also causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross pups in Belfast Crown Court.

  Jamie Morrow (19), also from East Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to keeping or training animals for use in connection with an animal fight.

Detective Inspector Peter Mullan said of the guilty pleas: The corresponding police investigation has taken over two years and a significant amount of time and energy has been invested in bringing these individuals before the court.

  He thanked the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), the Scottish SPCA, the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and members of the local community for their support during the investigation.

  He added that police will continue to follow up all reports of animal cruelty linked to fighting offences. When the PSNI is made aware of a possible breach in the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 or Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 for fighting offences, an investigating officer is assigned to carry out inquiries.

  Anyone with information on offences regarding non-farmed animals – including domestic pets such as cats, dogs, horses and donkeys – should contact the animal welfare officer in local councils. Anyone in Northern Ireland who has a suspicion regarding organised fighting offences is asked to contact their nearest police station on 0845 600 8000.