North Down Alliance Councillor Andrew Muir has expressed his horror after learning about the death of a pet cat in the Primacy area, Bangor. Councillor Muir was contacted by a member of the public late last week who was concerned after it appeared that their pet cat had been killed by a stray Black and Tan Rottweiler dog.
Commenting on the incident, Cllr Muir stated “After being informed of the incident by the member of the public I contacted Council officers and it appears that a stray Black and Tan Rottweiler dog was collected by North Down Borough Council at 11am on Thursday 9 September 2010. Neighbours feel it was this dog which killed the cat. The dog is now being held in kennels.
Continuing, Cllr Muir remarked “If no owner is identified the kennels will have to decide whether to re-home or destroy the dog. If owners are identified it seems that Council powers are limited. From what I understand North Down Borough Council may take action because the dog was stray and possibly without a Dog Licence but cannot take action concerning the death of the cat as it is a dog on cat attack rather than dog on human. The only action relating to the death of the cat that can be taken is by the cat owner against the owner of the dog for damage inflicted upon his property”
Concluding, Andrew stated “The legislation concerning dogs urgently needs reviewed by NI Assembly to ensure that the authorities are granted enhanced and clearly defined enforcement powers. In the meantime I would urge all dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept securely and on leads when out and about across the Borough. Whilst I recognise that the vast majority of dog owners are in fact dog lovers and very law abiding this incident is very concerning. If the dog was able to inflict such harm on a pet cat a danger also exists in terms of small babies and children”.