The USPCA will continue to expose animal cruelty and suffering wherever it occurs

A County Down farm has been cleared of animal cruelty involving a stag.

The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recorded the stag being brought from Ballycrune farm to a location near Katesbridge last year.

It was held in a trailer and shed for several days in March 2013, before being released into the path of a hunt.

Read report on BBC News

For over 30 years the USPCA lobbied for new animal welfare legislation, a new Act that removed the need for an animal to suffer from our antiquated and inadequate law.

In 2011 a new Welfare of Animals(Northern Ireland) Act was drafted and passed to preclude the actual ‘need to suffer’

Today’s acquittal should initiate a review of the legislation to ensure this blatant loophole is finally closed.

Lost in the midst of legal argument is the assertion by both UFU and DARD that deer have the potential to infect cattle with bovine TB.

Bio-security on farms is a vital protection against disease.

Millions of pounds are being spent testing badgers and compensating farmers for loss.

How therefore can pursuing deer across open farmland be justified?

It is the USPCA view this ‘hunting’ represents an act of cruelty and the potential to spread TB can lead to suffering and needless slaughter.