Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Animal Welfare

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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439. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if there are plans to establish a dedicated Garda unit to exclusively deal with animal abuse. [5953/20]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. He is also responsible for the allocation of Garda resources and deployment of personnel, in light of identified operational demands.  As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.  I understand, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use. 

Matters relating to animal welfare are not under my remit as Minister for Justice and Equality.  I understand that the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which is within the remit of my colleague the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, provides a modern and robust framework for dealing with issues relating to animal welfare. 

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are no plans to establish a dedicated Garda Unit to exclusively deal with animal abuse.  However, I understand that An Garda Síochána liaises and works closely with both local authorities and the local offices of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

I understand that all complaints of cruelty to animals made to An Garda Síochána are subject to investigation.  The Deputy will appreciate that in any case, it is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide if a prosecution should take place, and for what offence.

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