Animal welfare probe: deadline for submissions

Roseleen Harrison with her dogs

Roseleen Harrison with her dogs

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Residents have until Thursday to submit their evidence to a Tynwald select committee set up to consider the introduction of animal welfare legislation.

The committee was set up following a Petition for Redress of Grievance by animal rights campaigner and Port Erin resident Roseleen Harrison.

Environment Minister Phil Gawne MHK presented the petition on her behalf at St John’s in July.

The petition calls for Tynwald to consider the introduction of animal welfare legislation in the island, comparable to that contained in the UK Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The committee is chaired by Douglas South MHK Kate Beecroft, who will sit alongside Douglas East MHK Brenda Cannell MHK and Douglas South MHK David Cretney.

The ManxSPCA supports the move. Margaret Mansfield said: ‘The ManxSPCA last year received a higher percentage of calls than in previous years. One hundred and eighty-seven cases of animal neglect, cruelty or distress were investigated in 2014 compared to 159 in 2013.

‘These figures include wild animals but do not take into account the number of stray dogs picked up by the police or the dog warden and brought to the sanctuary because no owner claimed them.

‘Other agencies on the island such as Pony Aid and the Manx branch of the British Horse Society also deal with cases relating to neglect of or cruelty to equines so these figures are likely to be even higher.’

She added: ‘The society welcomes the opportunity to work alongside other organisations as well as the police and DEFA to strengthen legislation which will give greater powers allowing early intervention.

Observations for consideration by the committee should be addressed to Marie Lambden, Third Clerk of Tynwald, Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW, or email m.lambden@tynwald.org.im

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