Hartlepool hailed as town of animal lovers

A shadow government minister has praised Hartlepool as a town of animal lovers despite several recent cases of cruelty that hit the headlines.

By Mark Payne
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 06:00
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill with Sue Hayman, Labours Shadow Environment Secretary on a visit to the town.

Sue Hayman, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, spoke at an event in town about animal welfare issues ahead of the launch of Labour’s latest Animal Welfare Plan.

Ms Hayman spoke at a fundraiser organised by Hartlepool Labour Party member Katie Trueman, and which was attended by local campaigners including those outraged by the police shooting of an abandoned dog in Hartlepool last year.

A dog is thrown into the sea off the Hartlepool coast.

Sue said: “Labour is the party of animal welfare. From bringing forward the landmark Hunting Act to protecting the treatment of domestic animals under the Animal Welfare Act, Labour has always placed the welfare of animals high on the policy agenda.

“It’s been a privilege to visit Hartlepool, not only to discover what a beautiful and wonderful place it is, but also to talk to people about animal welfare issues, especially in light of recent events which have challenged, but failed to tarnish the reputation of the place as a town of animal lovers.”

Angel, a Caucasian shepherd was destroyed by police after being left tied to a pole off Mainsforth Terrace, in January last year, prompting outrage among animal lovers.

Her owner Suleman Halane, an unlicensed dog breeder, of Baden Street, was banned from keeping animals for five years.

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Last week, the Mail reported on the shocking case of the RSPCA investigating a litter of pups found suffocated in the King Oswy area after having poo bags tied on their heads.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill, who has led debates in Parliament on animal welfare, said: “Very sadly we’ve made the headline news on animal welfare for all the wrong reasons recently; the idiot throwing his greyhound into the sea, the shooting of the abandoned dog and last week the strangling of pups with their own poop bags.

“Yet none of that reflects the true identity of the people. We really and truly are a town of animal lovers and all of us agree that the actions of a few are not only abhorrent, but are dragging the town’s reputation down.

“I’m so glad that Sue came over to see the true attitude to animal welfare in Hartlepool and to witness our vehement and passionate stance on the issue.

“I refuse to let the reputation of the town be dragged down by the actions of one or two people whose behaviour and cruelty has hit the national news.

“In my opinion Sue has gone away with a true impression of Hartlepool folk also thoroughly enjoy her time here.”