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Protest against animal cruelty as only two people convicted of cruelty to animals so far this year

In 2013, 23 people were convicted for cruelty to animals. That figure was 21 in 2014 and 16 last year.

A PROTEST AGAINST animal cruelty took place in Cork city today after it was revealed that only two people have been convicted of cruelty to animals so far this year.

It comes as campaigners are warning that Ireland has become the “puppy farm capital of Europe”.

Seven intelligence-led seizures at Irish ports over the past two months alone have yielded 150 puppies.

unnamed (6) Source: John Carmody via ARAN

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald provided figures from the Court Service which showed a huge drop in the number of convictions.

In 2013, 23 people were convicted for cruelty to animals. That figure was 21 in 2014 and 16 last year.

However, only two people have been convicted from January to July of this year.

It was noted that data can only be provided where prosecutors use standard offence codes on criminal case tracking system for cruelty to animals, and the Courts Service cannot report if prosecutors used an uncoded free text code.

unnamed (7) Source: John Carmody via ARAN

The rally was organised by ARAN, Animal Rights Action Network, and aims to highlight the ongoing trade in puppy farms, hare coursing and animals in circuses.

ARAN’s John Carmody said, “What will it take for government to have the backbone to stamp out Ireland’s most egregious abuses such as hare coursing, puppy farms, animal-act circuses and fox hunting.

Will we continue to see animal abusers get off with a slap on the wrist and the ‘Animal Health and Welfare Act’ just gather dust whilst Ireland stays a haven for those wanting to exploit the hell out of innocent, vulnerable and defenseless animals who want nothing but to be just left alone.

unnamed (8) Source: John Carmody via ARAN

Thousands of puppies worth hundreds of euros each are being shipped to British ports and then on to mainland Europe every year, many of them secreted in the back of vans and cars.

Raids on illegal puppy farms have found cramped conditions, little or no exercise or interaction, poor sanitation and even lack of access to water.

Read: 8-week-old puppies seized being exported to Scotland>

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