Animal Cruelty Register

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 8th November 2021.

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Photo of Dolores Kelly Dolores Kelly Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15 pm, 8th November 2021

T9. Mrs D Kelly asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs whether he has been able to resolve with the Minister of Justice the data-sharing arrangement in relation to the creation of an animal cruelty register. (AQT 1759/17-22)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I do not have a further update on that issue for the Member.

Photo of Dolores Kelly Dolores Kelly Social Democratic and Labour Party

If there is anything further, I would be grateful if the Minister could write to me. Earlier, he referred to the Paws for Thought campaign at the ports. Minister, how do you anticipate trying to close down some of the loopholes that were exposed in the recent 'Spotlight' programme? Is there anything further that can be done? If so, are your officials working on that?

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Frankly, the issues that were brought to light in the 'Spotlight' programme were pretty depressing. I have been working closely with Robin Newton on Lucy's law, and I hope that the private Member's Bill could be completed before the end of this term. If not, I hope that the evidence that has been presented in relation to it will be taken forward by DAERA as a priority in the new term.

This is a reprehensible trade, and a relatively small number of people are making themselves millionaires out of it. We need to clamp down very hard on that trade and ensure that we do not become the conduit for poorly reared puppies from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain. I really do not want to see that happening. It is happening, and I want to see it stopped.

Photo of Alex Maskey Alex Maskey Sinn Féin 3:30 pm, 8th November 2021

Sinéad Ennis is not in her place, and time is up. I ask Members to take their ease for a moment while we move to the next item in the Order Paper.

(Mr Deputy Speaker [Mr McGlone] in the Chair)