Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (341)

Clare Daly


341. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to amend the legislation regarding the breeds of dogs considered dangerous and to replace it with a system whereby animal owners are held accountable for the animals' actions; and his plans regarding the way this measure could be progressed. [14784/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I do not plan to amend the legislation setting out requirements that owners of specific breeds of dogs have to follow. The overall dog control provisions of the Control of Dogs Acts 1986 and 1992 contain important and balanced requirements for all dog owners, irrespective of breed. In particular, the legislation sets out the requirement for owners to accompany and keep effectual control of their dogs. The penalty for non-conformance with these requirements is a fine of up to €2,500 or imprisonment for a term of up to three months.

The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 (as amended) require that specific breeds of dogs must be muzzled, leashed and led by a competent person over 16 years of age when in public. These requirements on specific breeds are a balanced and workable arrangement which recognise the rights of dog owners versus the needs of society to be protected from dogs with a significant capability to inflict very serious injury.