We’re part of the Northern Ireland Companion Animal Welfare Group (NICAWG) and together we’re launching the STAND UP FOR NORTHERN IRELAND’s ANIMALS CAMPAIGN.

Thanks to everyone who joined our recent  VIRTUAL HUSTINGS EVENT on 12th April dedicated to pet welfare in Northern Ireland..

As part of the event we had the opportunity to ask questions to representatives from all the main political parties, hear their views and position on animal welfare. Animal welfare is fully devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly so it was our chance to have our voice heard from the people who will shape the future of animal welfare and well being in Northern Ireland.

The event  followed a traditional Hustings format with openings statements from all parties attending followed by a Q & A sessions.

A Lucidtalk poll commissioned by the Northern Ireland Companion Animal Welfare Group (NICAWG) has revealed that 93% of Northern Ireland’s pet owners are in support of ensuring the next Assembly clamps down on the illegal breeding and transportation of puppies.

Click here to see the survey results

83% of respondents also wanted to see improvements to the enforcement of current animal welfare law in Northern Ireland. Here’s some feedback from our members within the NICAWG commented post the survey results and the opportunity this Hustings event offers.

Janet Hume, Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary:

Mid Antrim are delighted to be part of the Campaign. This year we saw the introduction of the long-awaited Finns Law but know there is much work to be done to improve the welfare of puppies and dogs at puppy farms across the nation. As part of NICAWG we look forward to working with MLAs to improve the welfare of the most vulnerable animals.


“The polling results clearly demonstrate the public’s appetite for change in relation to animal welfare – they expect to see it made a priority by the incoming Assembly. We believe animal welfare will be very much front and centre of the voter’s mind as they take to the ballot box in May.

“We are delighted to be part of the Stand up for Northern Ireland’s Animals campaign to encourage MLA candidates to pledge their commitment to improving animal welfare. Our MLAs have the opportunity to drive forward the views of their constituents who are passionate about protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our society – animals play a key role in our society and we have a duty to protect them. Recently, our work with the Assembly has seen significant progress in providing a stronger voice for animals, and we look forward to continuing this with members of the incoming Assembly.”

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director for Dogs Trust:

“The campaign is an important initiative which seeks to give animals a louder voice in Northern Ireland, and we are proud to be part of this. 

“Dogs Trust has long been campaigning for measures to improve dog welfare in Northern Ireland. Whilst the Government has already taken important steps to protect service dogs, we hope that members elected to Assembly will support our calls for action to further safeguard the welfare of all our canine friends, including an improved and robust registration and licensing system to tackle unscrupulous breeders and sellers.”

Madison Rogers, Senior Advocacy & Government Relations Officer at Cats Protection:

“Cats Protection is delighted to be part of the Stand up for Northern Ireland’s Animals campaign. Northern Ireland is a nation of cat lovers – our CATS report shows nearly a quarter of all households own one, adding up to around 220,000 pet cats.

“Over the past couple of years, many of us have seen first-hand what a remarkable impact cats can have on people’s lives, helping provide companionship during difficult times for everyone from young children to elderly people. We’re looking forward to working with newly elected members on important cat welfare issues such as introducing much-needed breeding regulations, bringing in compulsory microchipping for owned cats and improving the enforcement of animal welfare law.” 


“We’re really pleased to be working alongside other charities to ask all candidates to Stand up for Northern Ireland’s Animals ahead of the elections and are hopeful that together we can make a real difference to pet welfare in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Government has already taken some big steps forward when it comes to protecting pets, but there is still more to be done.”


“The February 2020 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report shows that 88% of Northern Ireland pet owners consider this to be a nation of animal lovers, and the August 2020 Report shows that 49% consider their pet to have been a lifeline during lockdown. Additionally, the 2021 Report reveals that 83% say that their pet makes them feel mentally healthier; therefore, it’s not surprising that so many voters want to see the Northern Ireland Government continue to drive forward improvements to animal protections in law. We’re pleased to be working with other leading animal welfare organisations in Northern Ireland to encourage candidates to commit to driving positive change for animals if they are elected and look forward to working with newly elected MLAs on issues which will improve the lives of our nation’s pets”.

Your VOICE MATTERS so thanks for taking part and let’s keep the conversation going !