Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 Candidates and animal cruelty issues

10 Feb
ae22 where the candidates stand election graphic copy

Political Views / Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 Candidates

The views of Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 candidates in relation to animal cruelty issues.

On Thursday, 5 May 2022, please vote for animal-friendly candidates and reject those who support cruelty.

If some of your local candidates are not listed below, please contact them and ask them about their views. For a full list of candidates, see https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-60999714

If you are a candidate and wish to provide a comment for inclusion below, please email to info@banbloodsports.com

View by constituency or scroll down for alphabetical list.

Belfast East
Belfast North
Belfast South
Belfast West
East Antrim
East Londonderry
Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Foyle
Lagan Valley
Mid Ulster
Newry and Armagh
North Antrim
North Down
South Antrim
South Down
Strangford
Upper Bann
West Tyrone


Steve Aiken MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, South Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Steve Aiken MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Andy Allen MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, Belfast East)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Andy Allen MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice, North Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Jim Allister MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

In an April 2021 Assembly question, Jim Allister MLA asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister “(i) whether training for deerstalking with appropriate safety measures in place can take place after 23 April 2021; and (ii) if not, when they anticipate it will be able to resume.”

Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Féin, East Londonderry)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Caoimhe Archibald MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Kellie Armstrong MLA (Alliance Party, Strangford)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Kellie Armstrong MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Cannot wait to debate and vote for @JohnBlairMLA’s private members bill to ban hunting with dogs. I spoke against medieval and cruel hunting as an @allianceparty councillor and will again as an MLA. Well done John”. Tweet from Kellie Armstrong MLA, 26 December, 2020.

Councillor Daniel Baker (Sinn Fein, Belfast West)
At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Daniel Baker voted AGAINST a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

Clare Bailey MLA (Green Party, Belfast South)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Clare Bailey MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Rosemary Barton MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Rosemary Barton MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

‘Rosemary Barton was the only Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA who voted in favour of the Bill, but in her speech she called for clarification on the Bill. She said: “While there are many who say that hunting with dogs is a necessity to keep predators like foxes under control, others contend that that method of control is very cruel and causes unnecessary suffering before the animal dies…In considering the Bill, we must remember that its aim is to introduce a ban on hunting wild mammals to death with dogs.”‘ from “Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLAs vote on Bill banning hunting with dogs”, The Impartial Reporter, 10th December 2021.

“Northern Ireland has no dedicated and specific legislation banning or regulating the hunting of mammals with dogs, unlike in England, Scotland and Wales, where hunting with dogs is either restricted or banned. We do, however, have legislation whose objective is to protect wildlife, such as the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, which prohibited hare coursing but left the possibility to hunt wild animals. There is also legislation to deal with attacks on people, livestock and other animals. While there are many that would debate that hunting with dogs is a necessity to keep predators like foxes under control, others would contend that that method of control is very cruel and causes unnecessary suffering before the animal dies. There are more humane, swifter methods of eradicating predators such as foxes…” Rosemary Barton MLA during a debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill, 6 December 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=2042s

“These poachers are targeting deer indiscriminately, showing no regard for the safety of the public or for the age or gender of the animal or the suffering that is caused if it is wounded,” said Mrs Barton. “Standing by a roadside in the dark, using high velocity weapons poses a major risk to safety as those holding the gun are blind as to who or what may be in proximity to the animals. I therefore urge the public to contact the PSNI if they see anything suspicious.” from a report in the Tyrone Times about illegal deer hunting, January 2017. https://twitter.com/barton_uup/status/818769286621757440

Doug Beattie MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, Upper Bann)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Doug Beattie MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“UK have done just fine not testing cosmetic ingredients on animals for the last 23 years – let’s just continue that policy. #UlsterUnionist #UnionOfPeople Say no to animal cruelty.” Tweet from Doug Beattie MLA, Aug 11, 2021

“I support address both animal cruelty & climate change bill.” Tweet from Doug Beattie MLA, Oct 16, 2021 https://twitter.com/BeattieDoug/status/1449428057249525760


Matthew Beaumont (Alliance Party, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

“As has always been the case, I support the banning of hunting with hounds” – Matthew Beaumont, 29 March 2022.

“I support securing and strengthening the hunting ban” Tweet from Matthew Beaumont, Nov 28, 2019.

John Blair MLA (Alliance Party, South Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, John Blair MLA introduced the “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“I am firmly of the belief that animals being ripped to shreds by packs of dogs for human enjoyment cannot be considered a sport. Fox and stag hunting should have no place in a civilised society…I intend to reform the legislation on hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland to bring it in line with that in England, Scotland & Wales where the practice has been illegal for nearly 20 years” – John Blair MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=60s

Alliance MLA, John Blair has encouraged the public to sign a petition calling for a ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. The call comes after his historic Bill, to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, was blocked by Stormont. The proposed legislation was debated in the Assembly on Monday 6 December, when it was defeated by 45 votes to 38. The majority of the opposition was from Sinn Féin MLAs. Mr Blair, who also chairs the All-Party Group on Animal Welfare, expressed his disappointment, but said he was not “deterred” and hopes to re-introduce the Bill to ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland in the new Assembly mandate – “Animal welfare will remain a high priority for the Alliance Party, and I will, if re-elected, take the earliest opportunity to bring this Bill forward again and reform legislation on hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland, and bring our legislation in line with that in England, Scotland and Wales where the practice has been illegal for close to 20 years. The result of the debate is contrary to the views of the public, and that’s why I am urging the public to add their voice to this campaign to outlaw the cruel and unnecessary sport of hunting with dogs.” from “Alliance MLA urges public to sign petition to ban hunting with dogs” (Alliance Party statement), December 14, 2021.

In an April 2021 Assembly question, John Blair MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “what recent progress has been made on bringing forward legislative proposals to ban new licences for badger culling in Northern Ireland.”

In an October 2020 Assembly question, John Blair MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “what plans he has to bring forward legislation to ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered species.”

“Disappointed efforts to ban hunting with dogs in NI were thwarted by Sinn Féin & most DUP MLAs last month. I intend to re-introduce my Bill to ban the ‘sport’ in the new mandate.” Tweet from John Blair MLA, Jan 7 2022.

“A ban on hunting with dogs remains a high priority for @allianceparty and if re-elected I will at the earliest opportunity re-introduce my Bill to ban the ‘sport’.” Tweet from John Blair MLA, Dec 14, 2021.

“I have tabled questions to the @daera_ni seeking reassurance that the slaughter of badgers will not be included in a strategy to eradicate bTB. Culling protected wildlife in efforts to eradicate the disease would lead to the destruction of healthy badgers on an unpredented scale.” Tweet from John Blair MLA, July 8, 2021.

“A ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in NI is long overdue. Animal welfare is a priority for @allianceparty and contact from within my South Antrim constituency and beyond shows there is widespread public support for such a ban.” Tweet from John Blair MLA, Dec 26, 2020.

Cathal Boylan (Sinn Féin, Newry and Armagh)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Cathal Boylan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“I represent a vast, rural community. Hunting is a way of life to rural people, as Mr Wilson would see if he spent some time in my constituency. He gave the example of Boxing Day and the cruelty of an animal being torn apart. No one in the Chamber would agree that that should happen, and there are few such examples…Hunting is part of the rural way of life. It is an inclusive pastime that crosses all boundaries, whether those are of religion, age or social class. Those who organise and participate in hunting are, for the most part, champions of the prevention of animal cruelty. I want to talk about what goes on in my constituency. I know a lot of responsible beagle men who go out on the hunt. They do not go out to rip a hare apart or anything else. [Interruption.] Mr Wells is here today, and I am sure that he will get his opportunity to speak. Those of us who genuinely know the countryside and know the people who are involved in country sports have a better understanding of the issue. I was speaking in Armagh recently, where I happened to read a copy of your document. I am sorry; I will speak through the Chair. All it showed was an image of a fox being ripped apart. If such an image is presented to people who, perhaps, are sitting at home watching television, it paints one side of the story. However, people need to understand the whole situation. The Bill could be changed in certain ways. Its intent is to prevent hunting with dogs, which would include hunting with beagles, foxhounds, foot harriers, terriers and other types of dog. I cannot support that. If you recognised what goes on in the countryside, you would know that.” Cathal Boylan MLA, Hunting Bill: Second Stage, 15th December 2010.

Maurice Bradley (Democratic Unionist Party, East Londonderry)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Maurice Bradley MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Paula Bradshaw MLA (Alliance Party, Belfast South)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Paula Bradshaw MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Bill to outlaw hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland ‘a historic opportunity’.” Tweet from Paula Bradshaw MLA December 26, 2020.

“My colleague @JohnBlairMLA is currently consulting on his proposed Bill to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. This would include fox hunting with dogs, which is still legal in NI.” Tweet from Paula Bradshaw MLA, January 22, 2021.

“I think hunting wild mammals with dogs is cruel and totally gratuitous” – Comment from Paula Bradshaw to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

“As a cat lover, I am more than happy to pledge to #StandupforNIAnimals with @NICAWGroup. If re-elected, I will do everything I can to promote the welfare of our companion animals.” Tweet from Paula Bradshaw, March 31 2022.

Nicola Brogan (Sinn Féin, West Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Nicola Brogan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

David Brooks (DUP, Belfast East)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr David Brooks voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

Patrick Brown (Alliance Party, South Down)

“As the Alliance Party’s Animal Welfare spokesperson, Patrick will be a strong voice for animal welfare in the Assembly, pushing for delivery on Alliance’s comprehensive policies on animal welfare. This will include pushing for a ban on fox hunting and tougher regulation of illegal breeding and puppy farming.” from the Alliance Party website.

The Alliance Party has launched a petition aiming to garner support to outlaw hunting wild mammals with dogs – a move Councillor Patrick Brown has said is long overdue. Speaking ahead of the annual Boxing Day hunts, the Alliance Party’s animal welfare spokesperson spoke of his disappointment that another year has gone by without the outdated practice being confined to the history books. He added: “It was only this month that the DUP and Sinn Féin worked together to kill a private members bill from my colleague John Blair MLA, which aimed to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK. “It was a bitter blow to all those who campaigned and championed this issue to see it blocked in a callous way, when it was so close to becoming a reality. “That’s why Alliance has launched this petition – to give a voice to the many who remain disgusted at what happened at Stormont, to signal enough is enough and Northern Ireland does not condone this cruel activity. “Seeing animals ripped to shreds by dogs is nothing short of barbaric and if like me you can’t stand over this anymore then sign this petition now. Let’s work together to ensure we can end fox hunting in the next Assembly mandate.

“As the @allianceparty Animal Welfare Spokesperson, I will work to prioritise a ban on fox hunting in the next Assembly term. Sign the petition below and let us know you support a ban.” Tweet from Cllr Patrick Brown, Dec 13, 2021

“The results of todays Assembly vote on @JohnBlairMLAs hunting bill. How did your MLA vote? As the @allianceparty Animal Welfare spokesperson I am shocked and disappointed that all @sinnfeinireland MLAs joined with some of the DUP and the TUV to vote against banning fox hunting.” Tweet from Cllr Patrick Brown, Dec 6, 2021

“Ban Snares – End the Massacre of UK Wildlife http://fb.me/8c3IG0O54” Tweet from Cllr Patrick Brown, May 11, 2016

“As a rep for a rural area and from a rural background, the vast majority of farmers I’ve spoken to are against it [hunting]. I even co-organised a well attend[ed] event in 2019 with the League Against Cruel Sports specifically for farmers opposed to hunting” Tweet from Cllr Patrick Brown, Dec 7, 2021.

Keith Buchanan (Democratic Unionist Party, Mid Ulster)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Keith Buchanan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Thomas Buchanan (Democratic Unionist Party, West Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Thomas Buchanan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Jonathan Buckley (Democratic Unionist Party, Upper Bann)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Jonathan Buckley MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

During a Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021), Jonathan Buckley MLA shamefully defended cruel foxhunting. He farcically claimed that “veterinary evidence is in support of hunting” and quoted a group called Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management which, it was later revealed, was previously known as “Vets for Hunting” – https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=3508s

Joanne Bunting MLA (Democratic Unionist Party, Belfast East)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Joanne Bunting MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Please don’t go to animal shows or circuses with animal acts. Please don’t endorse the cruelty. Look at the fear on his wee face. It would break your heart.” Tweet from Joanne Bunting MLA, May 8, 2020.

“Any act of cruelty towards an animal should be punished. Those responsible for extreme cases of animal cruelty should go to prison” Joanne Bunting MLA, March 2020 https://twitter.com/Joanne_Bunting/status/1234056205582118912?s=20&t=jD0MnHpCeAl9FExOoL6P6Q

“I asked the Minister of Justice if she intends to introduce a register of people convicted of animal cruelty offences. To date there is no enforcement to ensure these people never again get to inflict cruelty on defenceless animals.” Tweet from Joanne Bunting MLA, Jan 20, 2020.

Robbie Butler MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, Lagan Valley)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Robbie Butler MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Pam Cameron MLA (Democratic Unionist Party, South Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Pam Cameron MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

In a December 2021 Assembly question, Pam Cameron MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “whether the newly announced UK ban on the import of hunting trophies from many endangered and threatened species automatically extends to Northern Ireland”.

“I have today written to the Attorney General asking him to urgently revise woeful sentencing for those involved in animal cruelty.” Tweet from Pam Cameron MLA, Aug 5, 2015.

Gerry Carroll MLA (People Before Profit Alliance, Belfast West)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Gerry Carroll MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Charlotte Carson (SDLP, Belfast East)

“[Hunting wild mammals with dogs] is a cruel ‘sport’ which has no place in a modern society.” Comment from Charlotte Carson to the League Against Cruel Sports. Charlotte Carson has pledged to support legislation that ends hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Pat Catney MLA (SDLP, Lagan Valley)

“I voted to introduce a ban on fox hunting and other cruel sports in the Assembly today. Really disappointed that Sinn Féin and most DUP MLAs (but not all) killed the bill. A vicious and cruel sport that has no place in our communities.” Tweet from Pat Catney MLA, 6th December 2021.

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Pat Catney MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“This is such an important campaign. I can’t believe we don’t have a central register of animal abusers! Sign our petition https://sdlp.ie/crueltyregister” Tweet from Pat Catney MLA, May 20, 2021.

Alan Chambers MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, North Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Alan Chambers MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“I don’t support hunting foxes or any wild animal with hounds for sport” – Tweet from Alan Chambers MLA, January 1, 2018.

Trevor Clarke (Democratic Unionist Party, South Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Trevor Clarke MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Pleased to call in & support Dog’s Trust event at Stormont. I will continue to support the need to stop animal cruelty.” Tweet from Trevor Clarke MLA, Nov 7, 2016

“Pleased to talk to the pupils on how important wildlife is to them. Great campaigners!!…Joined pupils on their campaign to support nature by backing Bob the squirrel. Our wildlife is important!” – Tweets from Trevor Clarke MLA, March 15, 2016.

Jackie Coade (Alliance Party, Newry and Armagh)

“I watched a fox being ripped apart in a field beside my house last summer. It was brutal. This horrendous practise is not fun. It’s not a sport and it is not justified in a progressive society…I honestly could have cried for the poor animal. The way those men lead the hounds to the poor animal hiding amongst the hedgerow was absolutely disgusting…Shame on all of those who voted against your Bill @JohnBlairMLA No time is no excuse” Tweets from Jackie Coade, Dec 8, 2021. https://twitter.com/jak_ie/status/1468627016496861190

Stephen Cooper (TUV, Strangford)
“Opposed to animal cruelty”

“BBC iPlayer – Panorama – 03/11/2014. Sickening to watch this about greyhound racing. http://bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04q0l0p/panorama-03112014” Tweet from Cllr Stephen Cooper, Nov 4, 2014.

“I pledge to #StandupforNIAnimals if elected to the Northern Ireland’s Assembly. Our pets play a key role in our lives, and we must ensure the highest standards for their welfare.” Tweet from Cllr Stephen Cooper, 30 March 2022.

Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston (Ulster Unionist Party, Belfast North) 
“Asked for my position on Animal Welfare…As a passionate advocate of animal welfare, I spoke at the first Northern Ireland Says NO to Animal Cruelty rally in April 2014. Inspired by this, I successfully brought an Animal Welfare motion to the 2015 Progressive Unionist Party Conference, seeking tougher penalties for animal abusers, adequate enforcement of current legislation and the creation of an Animal Abusers Registry. I am also seeking a ban on wild animals in circuses, a ban on the use of snare traps and the use of CCTV to monitor slaughterhouses and am vehemently opposed to all forms of animal cruelty.” Tweet from Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston, Feb 9, 2017.

“I sincerely hope that our N.I MPS due to cast their vote on Fox Hunting speak as one condemning & rejecting such a barbaric act of cruelty” Tweet from Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston, Jul 10, 2015

“Takes a special kind of monster to harm an animal let alone video themselves in the act and share it as a form of entertainment. It’s repulsive! If you’ve info that could help psni with their enquiries please, please, do the honest to goodness thing and come forward!” Tweet from Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston, Mar 11, 2018

Delighted to be representing the Progressive Unionist Party on Sunday at the animal rights rally…The day has arrived when Northern Ireland Says NO to animal cruelty…The message going out loud and clear. Tweets from Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston, Apr, 2014.

Pádraig Delargy (Sinn Féin, Foyle)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Pádraig Delargy MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Emma DeSouza (Independent, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

“I support a ban on hunting with dogs. Chasing and killing live animals with dogs is barbaric, outdated and has no place in modern society. Wild animals are chased, often to the point of exhaustion, before being set upon. It is cruel and inhumane. We need compassionate legislation that protects animals from cruelty.” Emma DeSouza, 7 April 2022.

Stewart Dickson MLA (Alliance Party, East Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Stewart Dickson MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“In the next Assembly mandate we will get this done [ban fox hunting], shame on Sinn Fein and DUP” Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, January 8 2022.

“Excellent news from my colleague @JohnBlairMLA overwhelming support for a ban on hunting with dogs” Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, Feb 24, 2021

“Delighted to join the first meeting of NI Assembly All Party Group on Animal Welfare. Congratulations to my colleague @JohnBlairMLA who has been been elected chair. Key topic for discussion today puppy farming.” Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, Nov 12, 2020

“Attending all party group on Animal Welfare chaired by my colleague @JohnBlairMLA receiving an update on bovine TB and Badgers statistics demonstrate ‘Badger culling makes no contribution to reducing TB’ the majority of Badgers do not have TB @USPCA_Official” Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, May 20, 2021

Disgraceful scenes of Animal Cruelty, it is beyond time to legislate to end these barbaric practises of illegal dog breeders. Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, Jan 31 2022.

“I am opposed to Mrs May and any Government plans to repeal the fox hunting ban.” Tweet from Stewart Dickson MLA, May 9, 2017.

“[Hunting wild mammals with dogs] – It’s barbaric and wrong” Comment from Stewart Dickson to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Linda Dillon (Sinn Féin, Mid Ulster)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Linda Dillon MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Diane Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party, Upper Bann)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Diane Dodds MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Happy to support call for better regulation of online pet sales. Modern means cannot be at expense of animal welfare.” Tweet from Diane Dodds MLA, Sep 27, 2017.

Amanda Doherty (People Before Profit, Lagan Valley)

“I firmly and passionately support the banning of hunting and blood sports in Ireland and am appreciative of the efforts of animal lovers and campaigners whose efforts bring these issues to the forefront. In my personal life, I am a vegan and am so pleased that our responsibility to animals in this way is becoming more prominent. I hope to be able to support and advocate for animals further.“ Amanda Doherty, April 2022.

Paul Doherty (SDLP, Belfast West)
“Shocking that Sinn Fein, DUP MLAs and Jim Allister have teamed up to VOTE AGAINST a ban on Fox Hunting. A cruel act that is practiced only by the elites in our society. This barbaric bloodsport must be banned now.” Tweet from Cllr Paul Doherty, Dec 8, 2021.

“Those MLAs who voted against this legislation [to ban fox hunting and other forms of hunting wild mammals with dogs] went against your wishes and that of the vast majority of the public. This barbaric bloodsport must be banned. This has renewed our focus in the SDLP on the fight against animal cruelty. We have been working closely with the USPCA on an all-Island Cruelty Register which will go some way to protecting animals by keeping them out of the hands of abusers and ensuring they are protected. Unlike others, we will live up to our commitments and continue to fight for a ban of fox hunting and remove this abhorrent practice from our society for good. Join us in our fight.” Video message from Cllr Paul Doherty, Dec 8, 2021. https://twitter.com/PaulDohertySDLP/status/1468724332327276548

Jemma Dolan (Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Jemma Dolan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP, Lagan Valley)

“I don’t share that viewpoint…” – responding to a tweet which stated “I have heard that Jim Shannon of the DUP believes in blood sports and it is very upsetting to hear this! What is your view?” Tweet from Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Apr 30, 2015. https://twitter.com/J_Donaldson_MP/status/593771005681770498

“This is good news for all animal lovers and we will support this principle being enshrined in U.K. law.” Tweet from Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Dec 12, 2017, in response to a statement from Michael Gove who said: “Animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffering so we are writing that principle into law and ensuring that we protect their welfare.”

Danny Donnelly (Alliance Party, East Antrim)
“Wha ? Sinn Fein are all over the place trying to justify their actions after their MLAs joined with some DUP MLAs and Jim Allister to kill off @JohnBlairMLA’s bill to BAN hunting with dogs. Shameful.” Tweet from Cllr Danny Donnelly, Dec 7, 2021.

“Hunting with dogs is cruel and causes unnecessary suffering.” Comment from Danny Donnelly to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Stephen Donnelly (Alliance Party, West Tyrone)

“Proud of my friend John Blair MLA for having the courage to bring forward his necessary bill to ban hunting wild mammals with dogs. While Sinn Féin may have combined with Jim Allister and DUP members to block this, animal welfare will continue to be a priority for Alliance.” Tweet from Cllr Stephen Donnelly, 6 December, 2021.

“Given the widespread appetite and need for greater protections for animal welfare, that Sinn Féin would block Alliance’s proposal to ban this barbaric practice is illogical and outrageous.” Tweet from Cllr Stephen Donnelly, Dec 6, 2021.

Emmet Doyle (Aontu, Foyle)

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022, Cllr Emmet Doyle voted in favour of a motion calling for an end to animal cruelty, including hunting with dogs. The motion was passed with 22 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

“I had previously contacted Cllr Dr Milne regarding animal welfare at Belfast Zoo, particularly the otter enclosure, and I hope any future review includes this” Tweet from Cllr Emmet Doyle, Mar 5, 2020.

Stephen Dunne (Democratic Unionist Party, North Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Stephen Dunne MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Mark Durkan MLA (SDLP, Foyle)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Mark Durkan MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Today @SDLPlive voted for @JohnBlairMLA bill to ban hunting with dogs here. Many will be surprised to learn that the Bill fell as @sinnfeinireland voted against the ban. Not only do they not oppose hunting with hounds, they aren’t averse to running with hares either.” Tweet from Mark Durkan MLA, Dec 6, 2021.

Alex Easton MLA (Independent, North Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Alex Easton MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

In a February 2021 Assembly question, Alex Easton MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “how many fox and stag hunts using dogs happen across Northern Ireland each year.”

Sorcha Eastwood (Alliance Party, Lagan Valley)

“Had a message today from a constituent who had seen hunters stalking a deer just outside Dromore. Not only were they engaging in a totally abhorrent “bloodsport” but they were behaving without any regard for people. Thankful for work of @JohnBlairMLA on hunting ban” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Feb 11 2022

“Extremely poor that Sinn Fein couldn’t see fit today to support a bill from my colleague @JohnBlairMLA that would outlaw hunting wild animals with dogs. It is a needlessly cruel & barbaric thing to do. Shame on Sinn Fein & also other parties who split on it.” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Dec 6, 2021.

“Tonight I will bring forward a motion against animal cruelty, calling for the introduction of a register of banned animal welfare offenders for those convicted of animal cruelty & a publicly accessible list of licensed dog breeders” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Mar 23, 2021

“Absolutely delighted!! My animal welfare motion passed tonight with a DUP amendment and with unanimous Cross Party support!” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Apr 7, 2021.

“Absolutely baffled & really disappointed that Mayor has denied my motion against animal welfare to be heard tonight at council. No debate, no discussion & put to cttee. I think the rights of animals & showing our constituents that we will stand up publicly for animals is important” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, March 23, 2021

“This world environment day, I rededicate myself to do all I can to tackle our climate emergency & make sure we protect nature & leave the earth fit for future generations instead of destroying it” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Jun 5, 2020.

“I support securing and strengthening the hunting ban” Tweet from Sorcha Eastwood, Dec 1, 2019.

Connie Egan (Alliance Party, North Down)

“Disappointing that Sinn Féin teamed up with some DUP & Jim Allister to block @JohnBlairMLA’s Bill to ban Fox Hunting – despite public commitments to vote for a ban. Animal welfare will continue to be a priority for @allianceparty #DemandBetter” Tweet from Cllr Connie Egan, Dec 6, 2021.

Sinéad Ennis (Sinn Féin, South Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Sinéad Ennis voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Deborah Erskine (DUP, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

“A proposed Bill to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland was defeated in the Stormont Assembly on Monday. NI remains the only part of the UK where hunting wild mammals with dogs is still permitted. Voting saw 38 MLAs back the Bill, but 45 voted against…DUP MLA Deborah Erskine was absent, and no vote was recorded on her behalf.” from Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLAs vote on Bill banning hunting with dogs, The Impartial Reporter, 10th December 2021.

Ciara Ferguson (Sinn Féin, Foyle)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Ciara Ferguson MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Fiona Ferguson (People Before Profit Alliance, Belfast North)

“We don’t see any justification for hunting with dogs in 2022. When it’s done for sport it’s deeply inhumane…What it is about the ripping apart of one animal by another that instigates a drive for competition in some people is totally beyond me. What it is about that kind of helplessness that instigates some to jump onto horses in fancy costumes I’ll never personally understand. But ultimately the point is that it’s rooted in animal cruelty and so we should just get on with the business of banning it…We have developed methods for pest control which don’t rely on whipping up one animal to tear up another to pieces in such a barbaric manner. There are far better ways to humanely control pests and we don’t see that as a justification for delaying any kind of ban on this barbaric practice because of pest problems…There is widespread support for an end to animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare. This is animal cruelty. This should be stopped, it should be banned and the majority of people agree with that.” Cllr Fiona Ferguson, Belfast City Council Motion – “End of Hunting of Mammals with Dogs”, 10th January 2022.

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Fiona Ferguson voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

“Hunting with dogs is a barbaric practice. It’s a bloodsport. Ban it” Tweet from Cllr Fiona Ferguson, Jan 10, 2022 https://twitter.com/fiona_ferg/status/1480637421264027660

“In all seriousness, what Bella Hadid shared on insta was an important message from @RBoydBarrett Why does the Irish government value horse racing much more highly than women’s services? @FineGael @fiannafailparty and @greenparty_ie should be asked this by media on a daily basis” Tweet from Cllr Fiona Ferguson, March 31 2022.

Rachael Ferguson (Alliance Party, Foyle)

Derry City and Strabane councillors voiced their support for ending animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare after a notice of motion was brought forward by Alliance Councillor Rachael Ferguson. Expressing her disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, Councillor Ferguson said: “I have had many people coming to me looking for this ban. “Local schools and students have been personally lobbying me to ban the hunting of mammals and these school children understand that it is inhumane and barbaric practice. “The public do not support this type of hunting, they support a ban so I hope our council will show our support in the banning of mammals with dogs.” from “Derry & Strabane Councillors call for end to animal cruelty amid hunting concerns”, Derry Journal, 27th February 2022. The motion was passed with 22 votes for, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

“A ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland is long overdue. I strongly believe that animals being ripped to shreds by a pack of dogs for human enjoyment cannot be considered a sport.” Councillor Rachael Ferguson speaking at a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022.

“I have no words, I am absolutely seething [that Sinn Féin, some of DUP and Jim Allister have combined to block progress on John Blair MLA’s Private Member’s Bill to ban hunting wild mammals with dogs]. I’ve seen what hunting does to these dogs and the poor animals they are sent to kill. But I’m so proud of @JohnBlairMLA and thankful he & @allianceparty will keep this a priority for the next mandate.” Tweet from Cllr Rachael Ferguson, Dec 6, 2021.

“Proposing a paper is brought back looking at having a dedicated animal welfare officer in the city and district, Alliance Councillor Rachael Ferguson said: ‘I had a constituent come to me this week and say they had seen a dog abused in the city centre being hit by its owner and when they rang animal welfare they couldn’t get them. Then when they rang the police they were referred to animal welfare who didn’t get back to them about it.’ Councillor Ferguson also proposed that a report is brought back looking at council’s agreement with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in regards to animal welfare officers.” from Calls for dedicated animal welfare officer after report of dog being hit in Derry city centre, Derry Journal, 11th February 2022.

“Would be great to have a dedicated animal welfare officer here in the city and District.” Tweet from Cllr Rachael Ferguson, Feb 11 2022

“Unfortunately there is no law against hunting in Northern Ireland” Tweet from Cllr Rachael Ferguson, Feb 5, 2021

“With only 9 days remaining on the public consultation to implement a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland, make sure your voice is heard. Take action and complete our survey” Tweet from Cllr Rachael Ferguson, Feb 5, 2021

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the consultation document! 80% of respondents are fully behind banning hunting with dogs!” Tweet from Cllr Rachael Ferguson, Feb 24, 2021.

Bethany Ferris (UUP, North Antrim)

“Absolutely disgusting treatment of such a beautiful animal. No dignity or thought given to Geronimo [the alpaca] as he was dragged away.” Tweet from Bethany Ferris, Aug 31, 2021.

Órlaithí Flynn (Sinn Féin, Belfast West)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Órlaithí Flynn MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Paul Frew (Democratic Unionist Party, North Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Paul Frew MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

In an April 2021 Assembly question, Paul Frew MLA asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister “as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, whether deer stalking certificate training courses can take place from 23 April 2021”

Carol Gallagher (People Before Profit, West Tyrone)

“I too care deeply for the welfare of animals. As a loving dog owner, it is heartbreaking to see that animals are often treated with cruelty and that NI is the only place in the UK where it is still (unbelievably) legal to hunt wild mammals with dogs. A full audit of animal welfare is required across the island of Ireland and I support increasing the financial support to animal welfare charities; the promotion of responsible pet ownership in our education system; and I fully support a complete ban on hunting wild animals with hounds.” Comment from Carol Gallagher to the League Against Cruel Sports. Carol Gallagher has pledged to support legislation that ends hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Paul Gallagher (Independent, West Tyrone)

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022, Cllr Paul Gallagher voted in favour of a motion calling for an end to animal cruelty, including hunting with dogs. The motion was passed with 22 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

Adam Gannon (SDLP, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

“I would vote to introduce a ban on fox hunting and other cruel sports. This cruelty should not be a part of modern society.” Adam Gannon, 4 April 2022.

“Tough sentences aren’t enough, we need to prevent convicted abusers from accessing more animals to mistreat. Sign our petition for an animal cruelty register to prevent needless animal cruelty today https://sdlp.ie/crueltyregister” Tweet from Cllr Adam Gannon, May 20, 2021.

Colm Gildernew (Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Colm Gildernew MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Paul Givan (Democratic Unionist Party, Lagan Valley)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Paul Givan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Following appalling attacks on animals particularly in 2012 when we supported the campaign ‘Justice for Cody’, a dog that was brutally attacked in Maghaberry, I called for tougher sentences in the Assembly and new laws were introduced to protect animals. More action is needed [Let’s protect our animals better – make pet theft and pet kidnap specific crimes, create a central banned offenders register, the introduction of Finn’s law]” Tweet from Paul Givan, Nov 22, 2019.

Claire Hackett (Alliance Party, Mid Ulster)

“I absolutely support a ban on hunting with hounds. The fact that my party colleague, John Blair’s, Private Member’s Bill on this fell is astounding, in my opinion. For me, it’s a cut and dried issue and certain parties should be ashamed of their actions there. Here’s to getting the ban through in the new term!” – Claire Hackett 24 March 2022.

“So disappointed for @JohnBlairMLA tonight – of all the Private Members Bills [Bill seeking to outlaw hunting wild mammals with dogs], I thought this one would be a no-brainer. I mean, who would possibly object to animal welfare? Well, now we know who would, and did. #DemandBetter at the next election- #VoteAlliance” Tweet from Claire Hackett, Dec 6, 2021.

“I think [hunting with hounds] is cruel and barbaric and absolutely unacceptable. I was completely appalled when my party colleague, John Blair’s, Private Members Bill on this issue failed.” Comment from Claire Hackett to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Deirdre Hargey (Sinn Féin, Belfast South)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Deirdre Hargey MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Shaun Harkin (People Before Profit, Foyle) 

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022, Cllr Shaun Harkin voted in favour of a motion calling for an end to animal cruelty, including hunting with dogs. The motion was passed with 22 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

“All Sinn Féin MLAs voted along with the majority of the DUP and Jim Allister to support the continuation of brutal blood sports – fox hunting is the preserve of the establishment, just who exactly was Sinn Féin representing when defending this barbaric pastime? certainly not those they purport to represent. We wish we could say we’re surprised. There is no place for these blood sports in our society today. This is another example of Sinn Féin divergence on policy North and South – Sinn Féin are fast becoming Ireland’s most inconsistent party. Ban Fox Hunting” Cllr Shaun Harkin, Facebook post, 9 December 2021. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=334093751863941&id=100057899565521&set=a.164787268794591

Harry Harvey (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Harry Harvey MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour. Watch Harry Harvey’s speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=2381s

“I am not a hunting man and the activity has never appealed to me in any shape or form, especially in terms of it being for entertainment purposes. That said, however, I know many for whom it does, and I also know the benefits that flow from the activity both for those involved and also for our rural communities.” Harry Harvey, “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill” debate, 6 December 2021.

Ciara Henry (Green Party, Newry and Armagh) 

“I find hunting with hounds an operant practice in today’s society. In fact, it was Steven Agnew’s attempt to table a motion back in 2015 that originally got me involved in politics and the Green Party. As someone who studied Zoology and conservation I know there is no place for this barbaric practice. Any future vote on a ban will absolutely get my support.” – Ciara Henry, 22 March 2022.

Donnamarie Higgins (Alliance Party, Belfast West)

“I support securing and strengthening the hunting ban” Tweet from Donnamarie Higgins, Dec 3, 2019.

David Hilditch (Democratic Unionist Party, East Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, David Hilditch MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Conor Houston (SDLP, Strangford)

“I’m out in #Ballynahinch this evening – talking about animal cruelty and @SDLPlive support for a #BanOnFoxHunting and our campaign for an all-island #AnimalCrueltyResigter” Tweet from Conor Houston, Dec 8, 2021.

“Many people, like myself, are just horrified and disgusted that some members of the DUP and Sinn Fein did not vote to ban such a barbaric practice [fox hunting]. It has no place in our society. I’m pleased that the SDLP did support that ban.” Video tweet from Conor Houston, Dec 8, 2021. https://twitter.com/ConorHouston_/status/1468655396302770186


Cara Hunter MLA (SDLP, East Londonderry)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Cara Hunter MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Animal cruelty is unacceptable.” Tweet from Cara Hunter MLA, Dec 8, 2020 https://twitter.com/CaraHunterMLA/status/1336379851213840386

“The SDLP is committed to delivering an All Island Register of Banned Animal Cruelty Offenders. Help stop animal cruelty. Sign our petition today.” Tweet from Cara Hunter MLA, May 20, 2021.

Billy Hutchinson (Progressive Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, Belfast North)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Billy Hutchinson voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

Gary Hynds (Conservative, Lagan Valley) 

“I’ll never understand fox hunting” Tweet from Gary Hynds, Dec 26, 2019

“Our pets are our best friends and family. So, it’s unsurprising that strengthening animal welfare at home and abroad is a priority for many. For myself – this is about basic right and wrong.” Tweet from Gary Hynds, Nov 28, 2019.

William Irwin (Democratic Unionist Party, Newry and Armagh)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, William Irwin MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

The Bill is the thin end of the wedge. As we have seen with such attempts at legislation previously, hunting, whilst it is not a pursuit that I engage in, is not the issue here; rather, this Bill is an attempt to create division and, indeed, misrepresent the rural community. The Countryside Alliance has conducted a significant amount of research and consultation on the issue. It makes an important point about evidence and the fact that, in the drafting of the Bill, no attempt seems to have been made to examine the evidence. There is significant research and a huge evidence base out there, following similar exercises on the mainland. It is worth considering that much of that evidence still points to a firm need to control the environment and pest species, and that need will remain…” William Irwin MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=1169s

Declan Kearney (Sinn Féin, South Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Declan Kearney MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Dolores Kelly MLA (SDLP, Upper Bann)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Dolores Kelly MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“There WILL be winners: the many wild mammals that will no longer be torn to shreds by dogs. I, and I’m sure the majority of people, don’t need much scientific evidence or research to know that [hunting] is inhumane and cruel” – Dolores Kelly MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=4298s

“MLAs had an opportunity to finally introduce a ban on fox hunting today. The vicious and cruel practice should have been outlawed already but I am shocked that Sinn Féin and most DUP MLAs, with some notable and honourable exceptions, teamed up in the Assembly to block new legislation that would have addressed this blood sport. “I am particularly surprised at Sinn Féin given that their party President Mary Lou McDonald recently indicated that they would vote to ban fox hunting at the first available opportunity. Their actions in the Assembly today are either a total policy reversal or a cynical attempt to hold two entirely different positions. That will come as no surprise to many. “The SDLP had reservations about elements of this legislation but we were prepared to work to resolve the challenges by amending the bill in service of the overall objective of preventing cruelty to animals. It is incredible that Sinn Féin and many DUP MLAs were unwilling to work toward that goal with us.” Dolores Kelly MLA, SDLP statement, December 2021.

“I’m still working hard to take forward an animal cruelty register at Stormont but some good news for animal lovers from the hill today. We’ve made progress on legislation to protect service animals from abuse. Delighted!” Tweet from Dolores Kelly, Nov 30, 2021

“Update on All-Island Animal Cruelty Register. Pleased to hear Minister’s Poots commitment to an all-island animal cruelty register. Animal cruelty should not stop at a border on this island or other jurisdictions.” Tweet from Dolores Kelly, Oct 11, 2021.

“The vicious and cruel practice [hunting wild animals with dogs] should have been outlawed already but I am shocked that Sinn Féin and most DUP MLAs, with some notable and honourable exceptions, teamed up in the Assembly to block new legislation that would have addressed this blood sport. I am particularly surprised at Sinn Féin. Their actions in the Assembly are either a total policy reversal or a cynical attempt to hold two entirely different positions. The SDLP had reservations about elements of this legislation but we were prepared to work to resolve the challenges by amending the bill in service of the overall objective of preventing cruelty to animals. It is incredible that Sinn Féin and many DUP MLAs were unwilling to work toward that goal with us.” Dolores Kelly MLA quoted in “Alliance and SDLP lambast Sinn Féin, TUV and some DUP MLAs after bloodsports bill defeated”, Northern Ireland World, 8th December 2021.

“Delighted to join online hustings event on animal welfare tonight @NICAWGroup. The outpouring disgust on progress to protect animals in Assembly has renewed the focus in our fight against animal cruelty & the strength of feeling about animal rights issues. #StandUpForNIAnimals” Tweet from Dolores Kelly, April 12, 2022.

Gerry Kelly (Sinn Féin, Belfast North)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Gerry Kelly MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Lauren Kendall (Green Party, Upper Bann)

“Proud to be alongside @Barry_ndgreen & @Huntsabsni in opposition to animal cruelty & barbaric bloodsports – MLAs failed animal welfare & the people of NI by not passing the Hunting Bill. Animal cruelty & barbarity has no place in our society #forfoxsake get it banned.” Tweet from Cllr Lauren Kendall, Dec 27, 2021

“All have a role in stopping cruelty… stand & act together against cruelty…make a difference so that no child, no family & no animal will suffer for profit”. Delighted my fellow Members just supported my motion, seconded by @Barry_ndgreen to tackle the cruel puppy trade.” Tweet from Cllr Lauren Kendall, Dec 8, 2021

“Petition: Make the use of free-running snares illegal for trapping wildlife” Tweet from Cllr Lauren Kendall, Feb 19 2022

“@rachelwoods52 @Barry_ndgreen @NorthDownGreens and I supporting science and speaking up with the people of NI against the merciless and murderous badger culling campaign #StopTheCull. Animal welfare, environmental justice, social justice!” Tweet from Cllr Lauren Kendall, Sep 11, 2021.

In December 2021, she joined an anti-foxhunting protest at a meet of the North Down Hunt

In favour of a ban on live animal exports.

“I #StandUpForNIAnimals, and proposed a motion with my colleague @Barry_ndgreen at Ards & North Down Borough Council, passed in December, calling for greater protections and changes to legislation.” Tweet from Lauren Kendall, March 28, 2022.

Liz Kimmins (Sinn Féin, Newry and Armagh)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Liz Kimmins MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Ben King (Independent, Strangford)

“I have no tolerance for the abuse or murder of animals for ‘sport’ or the sick whims of posh weirdos. I’m very happy to sign this pledge and will fight to ban all of the above if elected. And shame on any/all parties on the hill who are even somewhat on the fence about this… *ahem* @duponline @sinnfeinireland” – Tweets from Ben King, 7 April 2022.

“I’ll happily go on record saying that I dislike both the actions of hunting/injuring/trapping innocent animals for sick pleasures, along with the people who actually go out and do these vile acts. Disliking people for their evil actions is a totally reasonable + sensible position” – Tweet from Ben King, Sep 18, 2021.

Brian Kingston (Democratic Unionist Party, Belfast North)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Brian Kingston registered a “no vote” in relation to a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

“Seconded a motion by Cllr Ross Brown that those convicted of animal cruelty should be prohibited from owning animals for a minimum period” Tweet from Cllr Brian Kingston, Oct 1, 2015.

“Attended [League Against Cruel Sports event] at Stormont to end hunting wild animals with dogs in NI @BillOddie Wm Humphrey @Jim_Wells_MLA” Tweet from Cllr Brian Kingston, Sep 14, 2015.

Naomi Long MLA (Alliance Party, Belfast East)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Naomi Long MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Referring to Alliance MLA John Blair’s bill to outlaw hunting animals with dogs, Mrs Long said: “John Blair’s bill to ban hunting of mammals with dogs was voted down by Sinn Fein supported by some in the DUP. Despite Mary Lou McDonald telling animal welfare organisations in the south that when the next opportunity arose, Sinn Fein would vote for a hunting ban, instead block it on a Second Reading. John’s Bill failing is a good illustration of two things – it shows us what happens when other parties who talk the talk but fail to walk the walk have majority; more importantly, it shows us the difference that more Alliance MLAs would make. Just four more Alliance MLAs would have delivered the Hunting Ban in Northern Ireland. Let’s make sure we’re back in the next mandate, with those extra MLAs, to finish the job.” Alliance Party leader Naomi Long MLA, speaking at the party’s annual conference in South Belfast on 5 March 2022. Quoted in “War in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis at home is the time to lead rather than leave government, Alliance leader Naomi Long said today”, News Letter, 5 March 2022.

“I support securing and strengthening the hunting ban. I also want to see the ban extended to Northern Ireland, where the barbaric act of hunting with hounds remains legal.” Tweet from Naomi Long, Dec 3, 2019.

The hunting of wild animals with dogs is “cruel and barbaric” –  Tweet from Naomi Long, 6 December 2021 https://twitter.com/naomi_long/status/1467943508891820033

Roisin Lynch (SDLP, South Antrim)
“Its time to introduce an animal cruelty register so that those convicted of animal abuse are banned from rehoming or purchasing animals. Thanks @USPCA_Official for your work. We urgently need an All Island Register” Tweet from Cllr. Roisin Lynch, May 20, 2021.

Gordon Lyons (Democratic Unionist Party, East Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Gordon Lyons MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Jerry Maguire (People Before Profit, South Antrim)

“People Before Profit condemn all forms of animal cruelty and neglect. Animals are often treated with cruelty in our society. We recognise that this is largely because they are viewed as a commodity by the private, profit-driven sector. The use of painful methods of killing animals not only cruel but is abhorrent and should be banned outright. People Before Profit support the introduction of a complete ban on the hunting of wild mammals with hounds. Additionally; we oppose the recent sanctioning of mass badger culling by Edwin Poots. We call for an immediate end to badger culling by traps, snares and shooting.” Jerry Maguire, April 2022.

Nichola Mallon MLA (SDLP, Belfast North)

“Worried about animal cruelty? Watch out 4 the latest edition of City Matters which has advice on reporting concerns” Tweet from Nichola Mallon, April 7, 2016.

Nick Mathison (Alliance Party, Strangford)

“If elected to the Assembly I would be keen to prioritise animal welfare issues including: Building on my colleague John Blair’s work in the previous mandate and support a ban on hunting with dogs, Support the banning of snares, Supporting a ban on puppy farming and better regulation of the puppy trade in general, Support the introduction of a register of banned animal cruelty offenders which is accessible by those selling animals for background checks.” Councillor Nick Mathison, 27 March 2022.

Alliance Councillor Nick Mathison said: “I absolutely understand the need to protect our red squirrel population and understand that is a conservation priority in our area. However I am slightly concerned about the lack of detail in the report. We are being asked to make a significant decision in that we approve of, the phrase used is ‘a dispatch’. But we are being asked to approve of the killing of squirrels – and that’s not a decision to be taken lightly. “But nor should it be taken lightly that the grey squirrels are threatening the red squirrel population. I’m concerned that there is not a lot of information about other methods of control that are available to us. There isn’t a huge evidence base being brought to us to help us make a decision.” Councillors agreed at the officer’s suggestion to a further report focusing on alternatives to controlling greys. from “Ards North Down councillors have second thoughts on grey squirrel cull”, 15 September 2020.

“I pledge to #StandupforNIAnimals if elected to the Northern Ireland’s Assembly. Our pets play a key role in our lives, and we must ensure the highest standards for their welfare.” Tweet from Nick Mathison, 10 April 2022.

Declan McAleer (Sinn Fein, West Tyrone)

“Sinn Féin do not agree with a ban on hunting” – Declan McAleer MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=807s

“Sinn Fein agriculture spokesperson Declan McAleer said: ‘Sinn Fein opposes the unnecessary infliction of cruelty to animals. Our party position – north and south – is that regulation, not a ban, is the best approach.” from a Sinn Fein statement, December 2021.

Siobhán McAlister (SDLP, East Antrim)

“I support strengthening of legislation here in relation to animal welfare and support a ban on wild animal hunting and other cruel sports.” Siobhán McAlister, 8 April 2022.

Nuala McAllister (Alliance Party, Belfast North)

In January 2022, Councillor Nuala McAllister seconded a successful motion at a meeting of Belfast City Council which called for a ban on cruel fox hunting. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

“Alliance will remain committed to banning the hunting of wild animals with dogs” Tweet from Nuala McAllister, Sep 14, 2015.

“I want to see an end to this barbaric sport [hunting wild mammals with dogs]” Comment from Nuala McAllister to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Ryan McCready (UUP, Foyle)

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022, Cllr Ryan McCready voted in favour of a motion calling for an end to animal cruelty, including hunting with dogs. The motion was passed with 22 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

“I’m delighted to commit to be a champion of animal welfare in the Northern Ireland Assembly. If elected, I pledge to #StandupForNIAnimals and support improved companion animal welfare.” Tweet from Ryan McCready, March 28, 2022.

Daniel McCrossan MLA (SDLP, West Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Daniel McCrossan MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Disappointing day at Stormont. Today MLAs debated to ban the cruel practice of hunting with dogs. The vote was defeated and the Bill fell after all Sinn Fein and most DUP MLAs voted it down. Bizarrely this goes against SF’s stated policy of being opposed to hunting. I was the only West Tyrone MLA today who voted to ban hunting with dogs. The 3 Sinn Fein MLA’s & the DUP MLA voted together to kill the bill and in turn many helpless animals. Sinn Fein want to hunt with the hounds and run with the hare at the same time!” Facebook post from Daniel McCrossan MLA, 6 December, 2021 https://m.facebook.com/814286971994326/photos/a.814287045327652/4587250311364621

Patsy McGlone MLA (SDLP, Mid Ulster)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Patsy McGlone MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“I am one of the people who engage in country sports – not hunting with dogs like this here, but I am one of the 54,000 people who have a firearms certificate for that purpose…” Patsy McGlone MLA during a debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill, 6 December 2021 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=1485s

“Shocked by tonight’s @BBCPanorama ‘The Dark Side of Horse Racing’. I’ve written to @edwinpootsmla asking that @daera_ni investigate and raise contents of programme with counterparts in the Republic and GB.” Tweet from Patsy McGlone, Jul 19, 2021.

“Support our campaign for an All Island Animal Cruelty Register – take action now to keep animals safe #SDLP #AllIsland #Register #AnimalCruelty” Tweet from Patsy McGlone, May 21, 2021.

“At packed meeting in Armagh very concerned about Green Party’s proposals to legislate ban on hunting mammals with dogs.” Tweet from Patsy McGlone, May 13, 2010.

Colin McGrath MLA (SDLP, South Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Colin McGrath MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Can’t understand why people couldn’t vote for a ban on animal cruelty. Double standards by SF here is most shocking. I was happy to support the bill to its next stage today. Sad that it fell” Tweet from Colin McGrath MLA, Dec 6, 2021.

Philip McGuigan (Sinn Féin, North Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Philip McGuigan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Maolíosa McHugh (Sinn Féin, West Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Maolíosa McHugh MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Michelle McIlveen (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford)

Responding to a 28th June 2016 question from Chris Lyttle MLA, who asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “whether she would support a ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland”, Michelle McIlveen MLA stated: “I thank the Member for his question. Hunting is a matter which I have no power over. On a personal level, yes, I would support a ban.”

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Michelle McIlveen MLA voted AGAINST John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill” which aimed to outlaw foxhunting and all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork.

Harold McKee (TUV, South Down)

“Local Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate Harold McKee said: ‘An overwhelming number of farmers at the meeting clearly did not want horses and hounds on their land. They seem to have had enough of it and the hunters should respect their wishes.'” from “Get off our land angry Down farmers tell fox hunters”, Belfast Telegraph, April 11 2016.

“In addition to a register [of those convicted of animal cruelty], other key steps are needed. The scourge of puppy farming and the accompanying upsurge in the online sale of pets presents authorities with major challenges. It remains effectively unregulated, and some people are making an awful lot of money from animal suffering. I hope that the new Department is actively considering ways to tighten the sale of pets in that way. Finally, I make the point that animals involved in the provision of entertainment must be treated with the same care and compassion as we expect for our pets. I fully support the motion.” Harold McKee MLA (UUP), Animal Cruelty, Private Members’ Business in the Northern Ireland Assembly, 21st June 2016.

Sinead McLaughlin MLA (SDLP, Foyle)

A Derry Daily report on December 7, 2021 entitled “MCLAUGHLIN URGES RENEWED EFFORTS TO TACKLE ANIMAL CRUELTY” stated:

The SDLP’s Derry Assembly representative Sinéad McLaughlin has called for a renewed focus on tackling animal cruelty after Sinn Féin teamed up with some DUP MLAs and Jim Allister to vote against a ban on fox hunting. The SDLP has been working with the UPSCA on an All Island Animal Cruelty Register.

Said the Foyle MLA: “The appalling decision from Sinn Féin, some DUP MLAs and Jim Allister to pass up the opportunity to ban fox hunting and other hunting with dogs in the North has renewed the focus on our fight against animal cruelty. The outpouring of disgust since the vote shows the strength of feeling about animal rights issues. It also clearly demonstrates that those who voted against the legislation were going against the wishes of the vast majority of the public.

“Over the past year the SDLP has been working with the USPCA on an All Island Animal Cruelty Register. Our campaign received a huge response and would go some way to protecting animals by keeping them out of the hands of abusers and those with previous relevant convictions on both sides of the border. We must do everything we can to keep animals away from those who wish to do them harm. While I welcome previous commitments from DAERA Minister Edwin Poots and Justice Minister Naomi Long to explore the introduction of the register, it has now been some months since we last had an update and the end of the current Assembly mandate is looming with business piling up. The response to the vote on fox hunting shows the need for movement on this issue, there can be no feet dragging from the ministers. Over 15 years on from the fox hunting ban in Britain it is inconceivable that this abhorrent practice is still allowed on both sides of the border. While Sinn Féin and the DUP have teamed up to end hopes of a ban on this occasion, this matter is far from over and is sure to return to the Assembly in the next mandate. Unlike Sinn Féin, the SDLP will live up to our commitments to the electorate and keep working to ban fox hunting and create an All Island Animal Cruelty Register to protect the animals that contribute so much to our way of life,” added Ms McLaughlin. https://www.derrydaily.net/2021/12/07/mclaughlin-urges-renewed-efforts-to-tackle-animal-cruelty/

“Did you know? 4 out of 5 badgers in NI are Bovine TB-free. Yet DAERA is proposing an indiscriminate badger cull! @SDLPlive MPs have consistently voted against badger culls at Westminster & we will be making our opposition clear in our response to the DAERA consultation. The SDLP is firmly opposed to this cruel proposal and support the joint petition from USPCA, Ulster Wildlife and the NI Badger Group calling for a stop to the badger cull.” Tweet from Sinéad McLaughlin, Aug 9, 2021.

“Today @SDLPlive will present our Animal Cruelty petition to the Assembly, calling for an all-island Banned Offenders Register to stop those convicted of abusing animals from buying/rehoming others” Tweet from Sinéad McLaughlin, Jun 28, 2021.

Cllr Oliver McMullan (Sinn Féin, East Antrim)
“I will take the opportunity before I finish to ask the Minister to look at a ban on trophy hunting. People go out to Europe or Africa, shoot defenceless giraffes and other animals as trophies to take back home. We have the power here to ban the import of hunting trophies” Oliver McMullan MLA Sinn Féin.

Justin McNulty MLA (SDLP, Newry and Armagh)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Justin McNulty MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Peter McReynolds (Alliance Party, Belfast East)

In January 2022, Councillor Peter McReynolds presented a successful motion at a meeting of Belfast City Council which called for a ban on cruel fox hunting. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.” https://belfastcity.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/633347

“Before I became involved in frontline politics, I campaigned and protested against the hunting of animals with dogs. Simply put, my Alliance colleagues and I believe that the pursuit and killing of wild mammals by hunting dogs for the purposes of enjoyment or sport is cruel and completely unnecessary in the 21st century. Councillors will already know that quick kills are rare and many animals suffer a prolonged chase and painful death. No animal should be chased to the point of exhaustion or rupturing of organs to then be ripped to shreds by the pack of hounds that were pursuing it. This is a bloodsport and a practice that should be consigned to the history books where they rightly belong…I’m calling on this Council to write to the Committee to put on public record our support for the end of hunting for wild mammals with dogs and to work to begin in earnest to make this a reality in a new mandate.” Cllr Peter McReynolds, Belfast City Council Motion – “End of Hunting of Mammals with Dogs”, 10th January 2022.

“Sinn Fein’s proposed amendment to regulate [hunting] rather than legislate – to me, that’s just a charter for continued cruelty. and unfortunately this amendment is indirectly pro-hunting. Mary Lou [McDonald TD] said Sinn Fein would support a ban at the next opportunity. I was looking today on Twitter for the North Down Sinn Fein tweet that came out around the time of the [Assembly] debate [in December 2021] that said that ‘hunting with hounds has no place in the 21st Century and Sinn Fein supports a total ban on foxhunting and will back any legislation to outlaw bloodsports’. That doesn’t sound like regulation to me.” Cllr Peter McReynolds, Belfast City Council Motion – “End of Hunting of Mammals with Dogs”, 10th January 2022. The Sinn Fein amendment was rejected by a majority of Councillors.

Paul McCrory (People Before Profit, South Down)

“There is no excuse for the callous bloodsport of hunting with dogs. Pitting one animal against another is a cruel and vile practice that should be outlawed without hesitation.

When it comes to pest or disease control, where necessary, there are much more humane and non harmful methods of controlling wild mammals which do not involve killing or maiming them.

PBP have a consistent record of standing up for animal welfare both in the streets and through votes in elected chambers north and south of this island. I will continue this tradition in fighting for animal rights, including working towards a ban on the needless slaughter of wild animals.

I would also like to campaign for greater awareness of animals on our roads. All too often, we see significant numbers of dead badgers, foxes and rodents on the country roads of South Down. Animals crossing can certainly be surprising and unpredictable, but if we can raise awareness through greater road safety campaigns and signage in identified animal dense areas, we can lower the risk of injury to both animals and road users.”

Amy Merron (People Before Profit, East Derry / Londonderry)

“Foxes are my favourite animal. I support a ban on the hunting and the culling of animals particularly the use of hounds in ‘hunting sports’ and I would like to see laws implemented that are strong enough to prevent any loopholes that would allow for ‘trail hunting’ or any other sport that endangers wild or domestic animals. I would also like to see a similar law brought into Northern Ireland that has been implemented in England that would ban puppy farms, and better protections for animals against cruelty” – Amy Merron, 22 March 2022.

Everyone: Stop the Yulin dog meat festival for good! – Sign the Petition! https://chn.ge/2OgkphJ Tweet from Amy Merron, Aug 6, 2018.

Gary Middleton (Democratic Unionist Party, Foyle) 

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Gary Middleton MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“The DUP are strongly against animal cruelty.” – Tweet from Gary Middleton, March 30, 2015.

Andrew Muir MLA (Alliance Party, North Down) 

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Andrew Muir MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Delighted my MP @sylviahermon will be voting against repeal of Hunting Act Hunting mammals with dogs wrong & should also be banned in NI” Tweet from Andrew Muir, Jul 13, 2015.

“Proud to take a stand against animal cruelty tonight & secured support at new Council Committee to call for end to hunting and a snares ban!” Tweet from Andrew Muir, Jan 22, 2015.

“With Fox Hunting still legal in Northern Ireland Boxing Day Hunts again taking place this year Personally believe this is wrong & ban overdue” Tweet from Andrew Muir, Dec 26, 2012.

“I took the fight to end animal cruelty across North Down and Ards to the new super Council on 22 January 2015, calling for a ban on the hunting of mammals with dogs and a ban on the use and sale of snares for the purposes of capturing or killing animals. I brought a motion asking the new Council to write to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development urging her to bring forward immediate proposals. The move follows the Alliance Party’s on-going commitment to promoting animal welfare and opposing animal cruelty, which Alliance Councillors have fought for on a local level alongside East Belfast MP Naomi Long who has also received awards as a recognition for her hard work on the issue.” from “Muir takes the fight to end animal cruelty to the new North Down and Ards Council”, Statement from Andrew Muir, 1 February 2015.

Áine Murphy (Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Áine Murphy MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin, Newry and Armagh)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Conor Murphy MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Ard Fheis reverses the position on hunting adopted last year, without any blood on the carpet!” Tweet from Conor Murphy, March 6, 2010. https://twitter.com/conormurphysf/status/10086999679  At Sinn Fein’s 2010 Ard Fheis, a motion was passed which stated: “this Ard Fheis acknowledges the support in rural Ireland for traditional rural occupations including hunting, fishing, and hare coursing, acknowledges the…potential economic damage posed by an outright ban, believes that hunting and fishing should continue to be regulated in the interests of sustainable wildlife management…we oppose an outright ban [on coursing].”

Mike Nesbitt MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, Strangford)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Mike Nesbitt MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Carál Ní Chuilín (Sinn Féin, Belfast North)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

‘A Stormont minister has ruled out providing financial backing to the hunting community after being urged to reconsider her department’s position on so-called country sports. Culture, Arts and Leisure minister Caral Ni Chuilin told the Assembly she personally did not support hunting or recognise it as a sport. The Sinn Fein representative said her position was also backed by the official departmental definition of sports. She said activities traditionally termed “country sports” – such as hunting, including that on horseback, and the shooting of live quarry – were not supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. “Just to be clear on this, I don’t support hunting, I don’t recognise it as a sport, but I will certainly have a look at anything else in between,” she said.’ from Minister rules out backing hunting, Irish Independent, 11 March 2013. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/minister-rules-out-backing-hunting-29122869.html

Kate Nicholl (Alliance Party, Belfast South)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Councillor/Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.” https://belfastcity.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/633347

Donal O’Cofaigh (Cross Community Labour Alternative, Fermanagh and South Tyrone)


“I am totally opposed to animal cruelty, and animal rights is a hugely important issue. I am opposed to hunting with dogs. I have campaigned for measures to regulate the ever growing puppy farm trade in Northern Ireland where dogs are bred in horrific conditions, with many dying prematurely. This is a result of dogs being commodified and bred for profit, with no concern for the welfare of puppies or their mothers who are bred over and over. These puppies can cost thousands of pounds, while there are thousands of dogs in animal rescues looking for homes that are struggling to function.” Statement from Donal O’Cofaigh, May 2022.

“[Hunting wild mammals with dogs] – It’s cruel and inhumane. Time to end such barbaric practices.” Comment from Donal O’Cofaigh to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

John O’Dowd (Sinn Féin, Upper Bann)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, John O’Dowd MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Shocking scenes of animal cruelty with 3 dogs beaten & drowned in Banbridge. USPCA have offered £500 reward for info to catch the culprits.” Tweet from John O’ Dowd, Nov 30, 2016.

Mal O’Hara (Green Party, Belfast North)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Mal O’Hara voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

Patricia O’Lynn (Alliance Party, North Antrim)

Patricia O’Lynn has pledged to support legislation that ends hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Michelle O’Neill MLA (Sinn Féin, Mid Ulster)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Michelle O’Neill MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Launched final report on review of animal cruelty. Animal cruelty not to be tolerated!” Tweet from Michelle O’Neill, Feb 29, 2016.

Matthew O’Toole MLA (SDLP, Belfast South)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Matthew O’Toole MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Today, the alleged great hope of progressive Ireland, @sinnfeinireland, used their votes in the North to…Kill a ban on fox hunting. *Jim Wells* voted for the ban. Sinn Fein voted against it. I look forward to their many Twitter defenders explaining this one to me.” Tweet from Matthew O’Toole MLA, Dec 6, 2021.

Edwin Poots (Democratic Unionist Party, Belfast South)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Edwin Poots MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“Personally I don’t hunt, I don’t particularly like hunting, but I can’t support this particular Bill because I think that it isn’t well thought through. It might be well meaning but not well thought through, and has damaging consequences if it came into force.” from “MLAs vote against proposed ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland”, Belfast Telegraph, 6 December 2021.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has launched a new long term bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) Eradication Strategy for Northern Ireland, to include the culling of badgers. Announcing the Strategy, Minister Poots said: “…I very much appreciate that this is an emotive issue for many but in order to ensure a healthy cattle population I intend to introduce a programme of badger intervention in a limited number of area…” from New bovine TB eradication-strategy launched, Northern Ireland Veterinary Today, March 24, 2022.

Aisling Reilly (Sinn Féin, Belfast West)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Aisling Reilly MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Pat Sheehan (Sinn Féin, Belfast West)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Pat Sheehan MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Emma Sheerin (Sinn Féin, Mid Ulster)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Emma Sheerin MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Philip Smith (UUP, Strangford)

“UUP launch Animal Welfare policy paper that includes proposals for a register of people convicted of animal cruelty http://uup.org/news/4214/21/Ulster-Unionists-publish-Animal-Welfare-policy-paper” Tweet from Cllr Philip Smith, Apr 11, 2016.

Brian Smyth (Green Party, Belfast East)

At a meeting of Belfast City Council in January 2022, Cllr Brian Smyth voted in favour of a successful motion which called for a ban on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. The motion stated: “This Council notes the widespread support across Belfast for the ending of animal cruelty and the improvement of animal welfare; expresses disappointment at the lack of legislative progression on banning the hunting of mammals with dogs in the Northern Ireland Assembly; reaffirms our support for ending this barbaric practice; and agrees to write to DAERA and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show our support for ending the practice of hunting for mammals with dogs.”

“This week at @belfastcc I will bringing a motion asking council to build a biodiversity campaign with its partners & seek outside funding. A campaign that will educate about our local habitats and wildlife, as well as creating training opportunities for young people in the city” Tweet from Cllr Brian Smyth, Jan 6, 2021.

Lorna Smyth (TUV, Lagan Valley)

“If elected, I pledge to #StandupforNIAnimals and champion companion animal welfare we must strengthen the regulation and enforcement of welfare standards in the pet trade to improve breeding and selling practices, and ban the use of aversive training devices for pets.” Tweet from Lorna Smyth, April 14, 2022.

John Stewart MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, East Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, John Stewart MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Mervyn Storey (Democratic Unionist Party, North Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Mervyn Storey MLA voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Claire Sugden MLA (Independent, East Londonderry)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Claire Sugden MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“This type of ‘sport’ is barbaric…Overwhelmingly, people see [hunting] as cruel, unnecessary, outdated, barbaric and I do agree. And the counterarguments do nothing to persuade me otherwise. I have received correspondence, as, I am sure, others have, describing this activity as ‘traditional’, ’social’ and ’harmless’. My goodness, it is not harmless. It can only be described as ’harmless’ in a world where animal welfare is disregarded. It’s not the world that we live in.” Claire Sugden MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hllB7PGix4M

In a November 2020 Assembly question, Claire Sugden MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “to detail (i) any plans he has for pursuing stricter laws regarding the illegal poaching, shooting, hunting and poisoning of native birds of prey and migratory birds; and (ii) the numbers of successful prosecutions made for the above crimes in each constituency, broken down by year for the last five years.”

Robin Swann MLA (Ulster Unionist Party, North Antrim)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Robin Swann MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

Eóin Tennyson (Alliance Party, Upper Bann)

‘One rule in the south, another in the north. They [Sinn Fein] pledged to support a ban on foxhunting at “the next opportunity”, today their MLAs voted against one.’ Tweet from Cllr Eóin Tennyson, Dec 6, 2021.

“Today would traditionally see fox hunts held across Northern Ireland – a cruel practice that should be confined to the history books. Thank you @JohnBlairMLA for leading the way on animal welfare.” Tweet from Cllr Eóin Tennyson, Dec 26, 2020.

“Hunting wild mammals with dogs is sadistic and cruel. These bloodsports are unnecessary and have absolutely no justification in an advanced and compassionate society. What’s most staggering is that Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald told animal welfare organisations in the Republic of Ireland that her party would support a ban on fox hunting at the nearest opportunity, only for her party to combine with DUP and TUV MLAs to defeat this Bill in the Assembly. It is outrageous double speak. This result is contrary to the views of the public, as outlined in the consultation response where 80% of the 18,000 respondents supported a ban, and sets us even further beyond the rest of the U.K. where a bans have been in operation for two decades. I’m hugely disappointed that this historic chance for change has been squandered. However, Alliance will continue to push for progress on animal welfare and will re-introduce this Bill in the next mandate.” Cllr Eóin Tennyson quoted in “Alliance and SDLP lambast Sinn Féin, TUV and some DUP MLAs after bloodsports bill defeated”, Northern Ireland World, 8th December 2021.

Brian Tierney (SDLP, Foyle)

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council on 24 February 2022, Cllr Brian Tierney voted in favour of a motion calling for an end to animal cruelty, including hunting with dogs. The motion was passed with 22 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

Elsie Trainor (SDLP, Belfast South)

“Such shocking support of animal cruelty. Look for your elected rep under the ‘No’s in this list & remember it in May. I’m disgusted.” Tweet from Elsie Trainor, Dec 6, 2021, referring to the MLAs who voted against John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour https://twitter.com/elsietrainor/status/1467993424137625603

“It is an outrage that this [a ban on hunting with dogs] was voted down in the last mandate and this needs to be urgently addressed. I deplore hunting for sport” Comment from Elsie Trainor to the League Against Cruel Sports https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/102961/action/1

Déirdre Vaughan (SDLP, North Down)

“It’s my sincere hope that when the next mandate comes around, legislation is reintroduced to finally ban this barbaric practice [fox hunting]” – Video tweet from Déirdre Vaughan, Feb 23, 2022 https://twitter.com/i/status/1496577854510809089

“This week an opportunity was missed to ban the barbaric practice of fox hunting when it was voted down by SF most of DUP & TUV. This must be rectified at the earliest opportunity. @SDLPlive will continue to push for this ban & continue our work on an animal cruelty register.” Video tweet from Déirdre Vaughan, Dec 8, 2021 https://twitter.com/deirdre_vaughan/status/1468581120065351680

“Reports of large scale puppy trafficking are horrific. @SDLPlive continue to call for an all island animal cruelty register but which could also be shared with all jurisdictions in UK. Lets afford our animals the protection they deserve.” Tweet from Déirdre Vaughan, Oct 19, 2021.

Paul Veronica (Green, North Antrim)

“Just right [NI Green Party leader, Clare Bailey, won’t back the deal to enter govt with FF & FG]. Within this PFG, there’s a mass sell off of public land to private sector, no housing reforms, healthcare kicked further down the road, no ban of hare coursing, only a white paper promised for ending direct provision.” Tweet from Paul Veronica, Jun 21, 2020.

“Has anyone from @sinnfeinireland explained why they voted against a ban on hunting with dogs? I didn’t realise that the upper class brutality of fox hunting had such support within republican circles. I definitely don’t understand why North and West Belfast MLAs voted against the ban” Tweet from Paul Veronica, Dec 7, 2021.

Peter Weir MLA (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Peter Weir MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“I am opposed to fox hunting” – Tweet from Peter Weir, March 31, 2018. https://twitter.com/DUPpeterweir/status/980203125754728448

“I am opposed to fox hunting, and was one of those in the Assembly who spoke against and voted against hare coursing” Tweet from Peter Weir, May 9, 2017.

“Delighted to speak in Belfast at animal welfare rally against puppy farming abuses. Let’s stamp out animal abuse and cruelty” – Tweet from Peter Weir, June 6, 2015

“It was DUP votes who carried the ban on hare coursing” – Tweet from Peter Weir, Dec 10, 2014.

Rachel Woods MLA (Green Party, North Down)

In the Northern Ireland Assembly on 6 December 2021, Rachel Woods MLA voted in favour of John Blair MLA’s “Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill”. The bill, which aimed to outlaw all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting and terrierwork – was narrowly defeated with 45 voting against it and 38 voting in favour.

“The Green Party Northern Ireland strongly objects to the obsolete and inhumane practice of hunting wild animals with dogs…It’s long overdue that these horrific practices are outlawed. Hunting with dogs is cruel and unnecessary. The hunted animal suffers immeasurably…The overwhelming majority want to see the hunting of deer, foxes, hares & rabbits with dogs made illegal. Fox hunting, stag hunting and hare coursing have no place in civilised society. We need to go further on a lot of these barbaric practices and put a stop to them. Hunting with dogs has no place in our society and seeing wild animals tortured and killed in such a cruel way should not be considered a sport or deemed to be entertainment” – Rachel Woods MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=5269s

“Snaring is a cruel and painful practice which causes unnecessary suffering to animals. The Welsh Government recently announced its intention to introduce a ban and I believe it’s time for Northern Ireland to follow suit” – Rachel Woods MLA, Northern Ireland Assembly debate on the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill (6 December 2021) https://youtube.com/watch?v=LPFnFbgfBSw&t=5269s

“Today’s debate was on the principles of hunting of wild mammals, a cruel and barbaric practice which the majority of people in NI want banned. I’m absolutely disgusted that John’s Bill fell at Second Stage. @GreenPartyNI will continue to object to this inhumane practice.” Tweet from Rachel Woods MLA, December 6, 2021.

In a September 2021 Assembly question, Rachel Woods MLA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs “whether he intends to bring forward legislation to ban the sale, manufacture and use of snares in Northern Ireland.”

“Attending launch of @USPCA_Official Puppy Dog Fortunes today. Shocking levels of animal abuse going on to facilitate puppy trade. Need to close gaps in legal trade, enforcement issues and seriously tackle illegal breeding, trafficking and dealing here, in RoI and rest of UK.” Tweet from Rachel Woods MLA, Oct 20, 2021.

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