N Irleand Assembly - Protect Police Dogs - Increase Animal Welfare Sentencing 5-10 years

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In Northern Ireland, hundreds of service animals work daily to keep us safe,  police dogs all work with the same dedication to duty as the men and women in our Police force.

Unfortunately, in Northern Ireland, our laws don't protect them the same way and currently, the law views a Police animal as little more than property.
This means that if an animal is assaulted or attacked in the line of duty, the assailant is likely to receive a punishment akin to breaking a window.

It happens. Police dog Finn was seriously injured while protecting handler, PC Wardell as he tried to arrest a suspect. Finn saved PC Wardell's life but was so seriously injured that he had to undergo four hours of emergency surgery. The suspect was charged with aggravated bodily harm for the officer's injuries but only criminal damage for the horrific injuries to Finn.

This is unacceptable and it is time we did something to ensure that anyone attacking a police animal is punished appropriately and animals be given protection that reflects their status if assaulted in the line of duty.

As Finn's Law was passed in England & Wales, this campaign aims to persuade the Northern Ireland Government to introduce a new criminal offence of harming or killing a service animal. This would adequately punish those who harm trained animals like dogs who serve the Police, Fire Service, Search & Rescue & Prison Service . 

Introducing a criminal offence of causing injury to police animals will ensure criminals who attack police animals are dealt with effectively, raise awareness of the severity of the crime and deter further attacks.

Ultimately this gives service animals the legal protection they deserve and goes some, small way, to saying thank you for their dedicated service.


The increase in sentencing will be a vital part of the Finn’s Law campaign. We need to ensure that those who commit such acts of violence towards service animals, or any animals, will face far tougher punishments in the future and act as a real deterrent.

Animal cruelty is real and it is happening every day. Countless cats, dogs and other animals suffer and die at the hands of the very people who are supposed to care for and protect them. Physical violence, emotional abuse, torture, life-threatening neglect and death are daily realities for many animals.

Far too often numerous cases of appalling animal abuse result in disappointingly light sentences. As a nation of animal lovers, it seemed incredibly unfair that we couldn’t provide animals with the level of protection they deserve.

6 months up to 12 months must be removed from the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern-Ireland) 2011, there is a section which states 5 years but it is never used so clear guidance needed therefore a sentence from 5-10 years (10 years for the death of an animal), serving full term, banned for life and placed on an Animal Abusers Register.

Please support all the animals by signing this petition to have Finn's Law in Northern Ireland and 5-10 year sentencing.  

Thank you.