Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (1039)

Imelda Munster


1039. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development her plans to fund local authorities to ensure that they have sufficient council owned dog pound facilities which can be run either by the council or by outside providers using council owned facilities to ensure satisfactory dog pound services exist in each local authority and to ensure that these services are not reliant on local private providers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6989/21]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Control of Dogs Acts place statutory responsibility for dog control on local authorities. Under the Acts, local authorities are responsible for operating and managing dog control and licensing services in their administrative areas, including the management of dog pounds or shelters, and my Department has no involvement in this process.

Section 15(2) of the 1986 Act empowers local authorities to enter into arrangements with any person for the provision and maintenance of dog pounds or shelters and for the exercise by any such persons of the functions of the local authority under the Act in respect of the acceptance, detention, disposal and destruction of stray or unwanted dogs. Furthermore, section 15(3) of the 1986 Act empowers local authorities to enter into arrangements with any other local authority, or with the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), or with a person connected with animal welfare, for the exercise of all or any of its functions, other than its functions under Section 17 or Section 30 of the Act.

The procurement of any service in that regard, therefore, is a matter for each local authority and the management and operation of such pounds or shelters are matters solely for the relevant local authority.

My Department does not provide funding for the provision and maintenance of shelters for dogs. Local authorities finance their dog control service from general income, including income accruing through dog licence fees, on-the-spot fines, pound fees etc.