North Down DUP Alex Easton MLA has added his voice to the calls for the introduction of Finn’s Law to be introduced to Northern Ireland.

Speaking today Mr Easton said:

“Service animals are important in the work of our police force, helping to catch criminals and fight crime. Our service animals provide an essential support to the community. Under the current law, it is unacceptable that, as a result of training invested in them, that they are excluded from the protection offered under Animal Welfare legislation. This is an obvious wrong that needs to be put right.

I confirm my support and the support of my party to fully support The Service Animals (Offences) Bill 2018, known as ‘Finn’s Law’ which was proposed by Sir Oliver Heald MP, and which is currently proceeding through Westminster. It is only right and proper that this legislation should apply in Northern Ireland, given the immense work service animals do here.

Finn’s Law will lead to tougher punishments for those who attack service animals such as police dogs. It will mean service animals will be protected for their bravery. Finn’s Law is not about politics. Finn’s Law is a point of law. A law that contains an unacceptable flaw.

It is immoral that the law does not protect those animals upon which we place so much demand and responsibility. Animals who give their service with such loyalty and dedication to keep us safe. The very least we owe them is the inclusion under Animal Welfare legislation. ”