NI Assembly - Protect Service Animals under the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019

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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. Service Animals are seriously injured while protecting their handlers. 

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 Service Animals under the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019 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 service 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.

Thank you.