USPCA calls for Register of Banned Offenders

USPCA calls for Register of Banned Offenders

Speaking on BBC 1 (NI) USPCA Chief Executive, Brendan Mullan, called for the establishment of an accessible register of convicted animal abusers banned by the Courts from the keeping of animals. Such a resource would assist responsible pet retailers and re-homing charities when verifying the suitability of those wishing to acquire companion animals.

The USPCA Chief Executive stated; “Northern Ireland’s laws with regard cruelty to animals have been strengthened in recent years and the USPCA welcomes this development including bans being imposed on convicted offenders, however, such bans are relatively worthless in the absence of a Register of Banned Offenders. Currently, offenders can be banned by the Courts one week and the following week acquire animals again. Recent court cases are evidence of this. It is the view of this Charity that the compilation of a central database, a Banned Offender Register similar to the Sex Offender Register, which can be accessed by reputable pet retailers and animal rehoming charities, would address this serious issue.

In the absence of such a Register, it is vital that the Animal Welfare Officers of local councils, who have a statutory responsibility for the welfare of companion animals and DAERA with regard farm animals, regularly visit those banned from keeping animals in order to provide the public with assurance that bans are actually being complied with.”