Written answers

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Animal Welfare

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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856. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the laws that are in place to stop healthy dogs from being euthanised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22804/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Owners and keepers of animals have a legal obligation to care for their animals, and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 allows for imposition of a fine of up to €250,000, imprisonment up to five years, or both, for the killing of a protected animal in breach of the Act.

I am satisfied that the Act provides a robust means of enabling officers authorised under the Act to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute breaches of the welfare provisions of the Act by owners, dog shelters, boarding kennels and dog breeders or others.

The Minister for Community and Rural Development has policy responsibility for the Control of Dogs Act 1996, and this legislation is enforced by the local authorities.

Figures provided by local authorities indicate that the number of dogs euthanised under the Act has decreased significantly in recent years - from 916 in 2017 to 172 in 2020.

This significant and encouraging reduction in numbers can, in part, be attributed to the dedicated work of animal welfare organisations in Ireland actively involved in rehoming of stray or abandoned dogs.

In December 2021, I announced the allocation of over €3.7 million in grants to 98 animal welfare charities throughout the country. This was the largest award of grant funding to animal welfare bodies ever made by my Department. Of this funding, €2.9 million was awarded to 63 organisations that deal with the welfare and rehoming of dogs.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to promote responsible pet ownership. This is currently being advanced by cross-divisional co-ordination within my Department on various aspects relating to pet ownership. Ireland’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025 - “Working Together for Animal Welfare” reflects the Programme for Government commitment on responsible pet ownership, and includes a commitment to establish an Advisory Council on Companion Animal Welfare (ACCAW). This multi-stakeholder Council convened in October 2021 and includes non-governmental organisations, individuals and professionals with a diverse range of skill sets and expertise to advise me on matters relating to companion animals. This Council will continue to provide me with expert advice on companion animal issues to guide policy-making.


Anne Cleary
Posted on 31 Mar 2023 7:58 am (Report this comment)

Could I enquire as to who are the members of the Advisory Council on Companion Animal Welfare (ACCAW) apart from Dr. Sean O'Laoide, none of the other parties are named? There is no website, no contact details for this Advisory Council. How are members of the public, (stakeholders)supposed to get in touch with them?

Anne Cleary

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