23 December 2018
By Elaine Murphy
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD (Fine Gael), today announced record funding awards of €2,751,000 to 108 animal welfare organisations throughout the country involved in protecting animal welfare. The payments will be made with immediate effect.
The Minister recalled the major improvements in animal welfare that have taken place in recent years. In particular, the reform of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which replaced legislation going back over a hundred years, was a particular milestone. “This legislation enshrined the Five Freedoms concept and introduced mandatory standards to provide for positive welfare for animals. In addition, in September, as part of the Animal Welfare Conference, I launched a new draft strategy on animal welfare. The aim of this is to bring greater cohesion and coordination to the work on animal welfare being done by various groups. The strategy has recently undergone a public consultation and the responses which are currently being examined have been very positive”.
The Minister acknowledged that the workload for many of these organisations has increased over recent years on account of a number of factors, including the active enforcement of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. Commenting on this, the Minister went on to acknowledge the good work being undertaken by the DSPCA and the ISPCA Officers authorised under the Animal Health and Welfare Act. “I welcome the very active role being played by these officers in enforcing and carrying out their duties as authorised officers in applying the Act to domestic animals. While this high profile work gets a lot of attention, that should not diminish the work being done everyday by smaller rescue organisations. Everyone in the rescue sector is contributing to improved welfare in their own way”.
The Minister urged those who are considering getting a pet this Christmas to consider adopting an animal from one of the many reputable rescue organisations. For those focussed on sourcing a pet animal commercially he also advised buyers to heed the advice of the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) and to make themselves fully aware of where their new pet has originated. Some of these rescued pets are re-homed in the UK, with DAFM providing over 4,000 free dog passports to animal welfare charities, at a value of over €40,000 to date in 2018.
Finally, the Minister also acknowledged the great work undertaken by staff in his own Department on animal welfare matters and stated that he and his officials will continue to work closely with animal welfare groups. He reminded the public of the dedicated email address and helpline in operation in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for members of the public to report incidents of animal neglect and cruelty.