The USPCA is calling for a change in the law to make hunts more liable for the actions of their hounds after a pet dog was torn to pieces.
The incident occurred near Newry on Saturday when a pack of hounds ripped a family’s pet dog apart in front of two young cousins.
The boys were walking their pet, Pip, in the fields when the hunt arrived.
They spoke of their horror as the out-of-control animals tore the little Jack Russell-type dog to bits.
The boys said one member of the hunt got off his horse and examined what was left of Pip.
He then threw the various parts into the hedge.
When the boys asked him if their dog was dead, he replied ‘yes’, got back on his horse and rode off
As the law stands, hunts are not held liable for the actions of their hounds.
The USPCA want the new welfare of animals act to change all that.
The BBC spoke to several members of Newry Harriers but none wanted to make comment on the incident.
When the USPCA heard about what had happened to Pip, they brought the children a new pup.
He was an immediate hit and there is no doubt he will help to ease the pain.
Sadly, though, the shock of what happened seems certain to remain with the boys for a long time to come.