Northern Ireland

Hundreds attend animal rights rally in Belfast city centre

Media captionThe rally was attended by hundreds of people

Hundreds of people have been taking part in a public rally in Belfast city centre to protest against animal cruelty.

Some people brought their dogs along, as speakers called for more to be done to safeguard animal rights.

Stephen Philpott of the USPCA said most people in Northern Ireland did not know who to contact if they witnessed animals being mistreated.

He called on politicians and councils to make animal rights a priority.

Image caption Some people brought their dogs to the demonstration
Image caption Placards calling for tougher penalties for animal cruelty were on display
Image caption Boxer dog Buddy Love was one of the dogs brought along

"The legislation we have is some of the best possible, but unfortunately it's not being implemented properly," he said.

"The sad thing from the USPCA's point of view is that we campaigned for this legislation - there are now three agencies responsible for animal welfare in Northern Ireland, so the USPCA's workload should have been a lot less, but our phones have got busier."

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