Support is growing for a petition calling for the equivalent of the UK’s Animal Welfare Act to be introduced in the island.
Animal lovers, both residents and from further afield, have been adding their names to animal welfare campaigner Roseleen Harrison’s petition since we reported its launch in our sister paper, the Isle of Man Examiner.
And in a bid to reach as many people as possible, paper copies of the petition are being distributed to vets practices across the island.
Roseleen, of Port Erin, explained that the signatures from the online and paper petition will be used to add weight to the petition for redress of grievance in her name, to be presented on Tynwald Day in July.
This petition’s call is that ‘Tynwald bring in legislation equivalent to the UK Animal Welfare Act 2006 and that a select committee be appointed to put together this piece of legislation and that the informal petition stand referred to the select committee as evidence’.
Environment Minister Phil Gawne has agreed in principle to present the petition for redress of grievance on Roseleen’s behalf.
‘I have said I will do anything I can to help and will do everything I can to highlight the issue,’ he said.
The Minister has said it is his department’s intention to bring forward an Animal Welfare Bill in the next few years.
But he added: ‘At the moment it is not seen as a drafting priority.’
The online petition at www.change.org, called ‘Bring in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to the Isle Of Man’, has more than 570 signatures, and a number of comments.
Chris Cubbon, of Douglas, said: ‘It’s ridiculous there isn’t an Animal Welfare Act already, I just didn’t know.’
Joanna Corlett, of Braddan, said: ‘Wherever the vulnerable are not protected, that society cannot call itself civilized.’
Jon Storey, of Hexham, said: ‘I have found over the years that the Manx are a proud nation, time now to be proud of their animal welfare.’
Last month Roseleen presented Mr Gawne with a petition with almost 1,500 signatures calling for a standard to be created for dog breeders and traders, and more statutory powers to be given to the ManxSPCA.
It was during her research that she discovered ‘a serious lack of legislation to protect our animals’.
She believes the ManxSPCA should have the power to make unannounced inspections where they have concerns.
At the moment, the charity can’t do anything without having a vet or the police there.