Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (787)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

787. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of staff in the National Parks and Wildlife Service; the numbers involved in monitoring coursing meetings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9585/18]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I am advised that, of my Department's total staff, 325 work in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS. In addition, my Department takes on approximately 70 seasonal staff at the National Parks during the busy tourist season.

Officials of my Department monitor compliance with the Wildlife Acts across the country on an ongoing basis and carry out patrols and site visits to enforce the various provisions of the Acts, as required. As well as more senior regionally based officers, there are 72 conservation rangers stationed around the country who deal with enforcement matters under the Wildlife Acts. Where resources allow, local NPWS conservation rangers attend coursing meetings on a spot check basis, to monitor compliance with licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club and its affiliated clubs. It is my understanding that some twenty six coursing events have been monitored by officials of my Department to date during the current 2017/18 season. In the 2016/2017 season there were a total of 17 coursing events monitored by my Department.