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Minister expresses disgust at Dog Fighting Programmes

31 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has today expressed her disgust at the sickening images of dog fighting which were shown on last night's BBC Spotlight and Panorama programmes.

The Minister said:

"I cannot believe that such barbaric practices still take place and they must be stopped. It is my intention to raise the matter with Mary Coughlan to explore how we can work together to end this cruelty once and for all on the Island."

The Minister went on to say that she has asked her officials to raise the matter at the next meeting of the North South Working Group on Animal Welfare.

Under the Dogs Order 1983, as amended by the Dangerous Dogs Order 1991, it is an offence to be in possession of certain breeds of dog designated as dangerous, including the type pit bull terrier. It is an offence to breed from, sell or exchange such a dog. Dog fighting is also an offence under the Welfare of Animals Act 1972.

In the North of Ireland it is the responsibility of District Councils to enforce the Dogs Order.

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