Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Questions (429)

Trevor Sargent

Question:

528 Deputy Trevor Sargent asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the position regarding progress in having the estimated 1 million feral cats neutered here in a similar way as in Belgium which also has a licence law for cats; his plans in regard to this growing problem [38991/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

My Department's legislative responsibility in the area of animal welfare extends to farmed animals only, including animals normally bred or kept for the production of food. Accordingly, matters relating to feral cats do not come within the scope of my Department. Nevertheless, my Department provides in excess of €1 million annually to animal welfare organisations involved in the provision of animal care. In awarding the funding, we remind organisations involved in the rehoming of cats of the absolute necessity to ensure that all such animals are neutered before rehoming as this will assist in controlling numbers. With regard to animal welfare generally, work on drafting the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill which deals comprehensively with animal welfare is continuing in my Department and I propose to submit the Heads of the Bill to the Government shortly.