Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
Question 436: To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Fisheries and Food if his attention has been drawn to the inadequacies of current policy, legislation, responsibilities, monitoring and follow up on allegations of horse abuse when the animals are stabled at trainers facilities here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17562/11]
My Department's responsibility, which is set down in legislation, extends to the welfare and protection of farmed animals only i.e. animals normally bred or kept for the production of food or for use in or for the purpose of farming. The relevant legislation in this area is the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act 1984 and the European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations 2010, SI 311 of 2010. Animals "used in competitions/shows, cultural or sporting events or activities while so being used" are outside the scope of SI 311 of 2010. My Department must act at all times in accordance with legislation. The principal statutes governing cruelty to all animals, including horses, in this country are the Protection of Animals Acts 1911 and 1965. Responsibility for pursuing cases under this legislation rests with An Garda Síochána, who may on receipt of a complaint investigate and bring a prosecution against any person alleged to have committed an offence under these Acts.