Northern Ireland

Aldyth Roulston's election to Showjumping Ireland body criticised

The USPCA has criticised a decision by an Irish equestrian body to elect a woman convicted of animal cruelty.

Aldyth Roulston, from Donemana, County Tyrone, was found guilty of eight counts of animal cruelty in November 2004.

The offences occurred in Scotland in July 2003.

The Irish News reported on Tuesday that Ms Roulston had recently been voted on to the Ulster committee of Showjumping Ireland (SJI).

David Wilson from the USPCA called on SJI to reconsider its decision.

"We would have thought that any organisation which would purport to have animal welfare at its heart or as a key component of its existence, would satisfy themselves that no member who could have any influence in the organisation would have a conviction for animal cruelty," he said.

"I presume that would be a sensible question to ask anyone putting themselves forward for a position of power - ask if they have had a criminal conviction in the past for animal cruelty."

Ms Roulston owns ponies which compete regularly at Showjumping Ireland events.

An SJI spokesperson said: ''While we would never condone any act of animal cruelty, Aldyth Roulston was elected to the Ulster Region of Showjumping Ireland by the SJI members at the Ulster Region AGM on Tuesday 22 January without any objection from the floor."

Ms Roulston was convicted in a Scottish court on 19 November 2004 and her sentence was deferred for one year on good behaviour.

The eight charges she was found guilty of included:

  • Two counts of failing to ensure the welfare and causing unnecessary suffering to animals (puppies) under the Protection of Animals Scotland Act 1912
  • Failure to ensure the correct documentation under the Welfare of Animals Transport Order 1997
  • Five charges of selling puppies on a road or public place under the Pet Animals Act 1951 (places included Troon, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Wishaw)

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