Robin Newton leaves Stormont tomorrow knowing he will not return, leaving his passion for animals and their protection in the hands of another politician.
After months of working on new legislation for Northern Ireland with the aim of eradicating illegal puppy breeding, his Private member’s bill will not reach first reading before the March 25 deadline and the collapse of the government.
But Belfast Live can reveal his swan song includes getting a new name to push his bill forward.
Read more: Sunny has been waiting 250 days for a loving home
Keith Buchanan from Mid Ulster has accepted the role and if he comes to power in the next election he has agreed to lobby for Lucy’s Law NI.
Today, Mr Newton leaves Belfast Live readers with his thoughts on the work he devoted much of his time to.
The cruel, abusive and illegal trade in puppies is a permanent scourge on our society.
The fact that it could operate in the background was to its advantage and allowed the trade to grow into a multi-million pound industry in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
However, after veterinarian Marc Abraham campaigned for Lucy’s Law, these questions were at the forefront of my mind and the minds of many others.
After reading Lucy’s Law in England and talking to Marc Abraham, I was delighted to see the new regulations passed in Scotland and Wales too, and disappointed to live in the only part of the UK not to protect these defenseless animals.
Northern Ireland has remained a back door for illegal and cruel puppy breeding. Getting Lucy’s Law passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly quickly became not only something I was passionate about, but an obvious and urgent necessity.
My private member’s bill, Lucy’s Law for Northern Ireland, would have been the start of the journey to cracking down on this activity once and for all. This would have covered not only the sale of puppies to third parties, but also stricter regulations for breeders, stronger oversight rights for Councils and transparency of information, a must-have for anyone considering buying a new puppy.
To say that I am disappointed that it is not possible to debate and approve this legislation before the end of the current term of the Assembly is an understatement. To be told “we have no more time” is frankly not enough.
Helpless dogs who are relentlessly used for breeding, and puppies raised in the worst conditions imaginable, are in desperate need of help right now, and being told to wait is heartbreaking and will most certainly have fatal consequences. for many dogs.
My de-selection from the Party, which therefore means I can no longer stand for re-election for the next term, is yet another blow to Lucy’s Law for Northern Ireland.
After what will now be years of hard work and research, not always made easy by people against puppy breeding regulations, it’s hard to accept that I won’t be able to go this far. at the end.
However, better days are ahead for these poorly treated animals.
While I may not be able to pass the private member’s bill myself, I can appoint another MP to continue this fight. Talks are underway to ensureLucy’s Law is enforced in the next term.
As with every trip, there have been twists and turns along the way, but I am confident that with public support, Lucy’s Law for Northern Ireland will become a reality.
Although my political journey with Lucy’s Law ends here, my personal determination to help these dogs and puppies will remain unwavering.