Animal rights and welfare issues must be included as an integral tenet to any positive vision of Irish Nationalism. Pet theft is degenerate.
Missing/Stolen Animals Ireland is calling for the public to support their peaceful demonstration outside Leinster House on Wednesday, the 3rd of May at 2 pm.
Set up on Facebook in response to a massive increase in reported dog theft during lockdown, the group now consists of over 11,000 members. It aims to raise awareness about pet theft and offer support to those affected while also campaigning for legislative reform. They describe themselves as a non-political group that is not affiliated with any party.
An Irish Problem
As a generally high-trust society that remains one of the most rural in Western Europe, Ireland has long been seen as a soft target for international and local crime organisations engaged in pet theft. A lack of CCTV and security, along with easy access to the UK and EU, means that high-value pets, most commonly dogs, can be easily stolen to order and quickly moved out of the country and delivered to buyers on the black market or to illegal breeding centres.
After months of correspondence with Minister of State James Browne’s office in the Department of Justice amounted to nothing, the founder of the group, Lisa O’Connor, got in touch with members of Aontú. The group has since been invited by Peadar Tóibín to meet with TDs and Senators in the Dáil and share their concerns, after which the demonstration will be held.
Representatives from groups such as My Lovely Horse Rescue, Limerick Animal Welfare and MADRA will be in attendance and are expected to advocate for a dedicated animal welfare unit and microchip scanner in every Garda station as well as for legislative reform around pet theft.
Currently, there is no such provision in Irish law and although much more egregious, the theft of a treasured family pet is legally no different than that of a handbag or any other inanimate object.
The Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) (Amendment) (Pets) Bill 2021, sponsored by Aontú’s Peadar Tóibín and Independent TD’s Verona Murphy and Seán Canney, seeks to change this and would see a minimum of 10 months imprisonment for thieves who steal pets. It is currently in the Third Stage of the Dáíl.
Although long seen as the abode of the left, animal rights and welfare issues must be included as an integral tenet to any positive vision of Irish Nationalism. Pet theft is degenerate. Animals have always been a central and inextricable part of our history, our mythology, our way of life; and where the Left advocate for the wrong reasons, because they erroneously view animals as our equals, we must because we rightfully understand our duty as the custodians of the natural world that bore and sustained our people.