THE poisoning of a Golden Eagle in Castlederg, crow and pigeon shootings in Sion Mills and illegally held monkeys in Strabane and Omagh – these are just a handful of the incidents of animal cruelty reported to local police in the past two years.
Speaking this week following the publication of statistics from the PSNI, spokesperson from the USPCA David Wilson says people would be naive to think such occurrences do not take place on a regular basis. He said that the society is regularly dealing with the illicit trade of animals and “deplorable” incidents of cruelty.
“You will get it and not just in Tyrone and the north west,” Mr WIlson said. “We recently raided with police a drug-dealer’s home in Craigavon who had a rare Tamarind monkey in his living room. There was another time that we intercepted nine crocodiles on their way to the Republic from Newry. It happens all the time, unfortunately.”
In one instance closer to home a monkey was reported to have been kept in a backyard in Strabane in April of last year. According to police, a caller reported going into the backyard after hearing a dog barking and discovered the primate. The monkey then made off into a nearby field and disappeared without a trace.