USPCA Calls for Finn’s Law to be Introduced in Northern Ireland
The USPCA welcomes the introduction of FINN’S LAW in England & Wales and calls for the protection it affords service animals to be extended to include Northern Ireland.
The new law will afford service animals, be they canine or equine, protection denied them in the past, when causing death or injury to such an animal was prosecuted as ‘criminal damage’, the equivalent of breaking a window or damaging a police radio.
The “FINN” referred to is a German Shepherd police dog stabbed in the heart and body by a knife wielding assailant in 2016. It seems appropriate that Finn was a guest in the House of Lords public gallery and barked loudly as the bill was passed.
The new legislation means causing unnecessary suffering to a service animal will be prosecuted as an animal welfare offence in England and Wales and plans for its introduction in Scotland are now well advanced.
USPCA Chief Executive, Brendan Mullan stated: “The absence of a NI Assembly means service animals in Northern Ireland are deprived of the protection now available to their counterparts in the rest of the UK. The USPCA has written to the main political parties and the Permanent Secretary of DAERA to ask for arrangements to be made for an amendment to the Northern Ireland Welfare of Animals Act to bring similar protections to service animals in Northern Ireland.”