NewsNorthern Ireland

Two men arrested in east Belfast by animal welfare investigators

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
Christopher Kirkwood (l) and Jamie Morrow (r) leave court after pleading guilty in 2014
Christopher Kirkwood (l) and Jamie Morrow (r) leave court after pleading guilty in 2014
Jeremiah Kirkwood outside court
Jeremiah Kirkwood outside court

Police have seized two dogs and arrested two men following a search in east Belfast today.

It is understood that one of those arrested is connected with a number of people who were issued a disqualification order - which is a court order banning named people from keeping animals - in 2014.

In a statement, a police spokesperson said: "The proactive search was carried out at a house in the Lower Newtownards Road area under Animal Welfare legislation. During the search the two dogs were located and seized. A 22 year old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police while a 23 year old man was arrested on suspicion of assault on police. Both men have since been released following the issue of penalty notices of disorder."

Inspector Keith Hutchinson said: “The PSNI takes animal welfare very seriously. I would urge any member of the public to report anything to do with fighting offences, other criminal activity and/or a possible breach in a court order to their local police station on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.” 

In 2014, members of a notorious family from east Belfast, Jeremiah Kirkwood and his sons Chris and Wayne, pleaded guilty in court to allowing a cat to be torn apart by fighting dogs. 

All three were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Last month the home of Jeremiah Kirkwood was searched by council officials and he was cautioned over animal welfare issues.