My Department follows up on all complaints and notifications received concerning animal welfare. Many of these calls come in through the Animal Welfare Helpline where members of the public can contact my officials by phone or via a dedicated email address AnimalWelfare@agriculture.gov.ie.
Investigations are carried out by officers authorised under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, who may be officials of my Department, members of An Garda Síochána, Customs and Excise or authorised officers of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In addition, the Chief Executive of each Local Authority may appoint authorised officers to exercise functions under the Act in the functional area of the Local Authority concerned.
Reports concern a wide range of species and while some issues can be addressed relatively easily in collaboration with the owner or keeper of the animals concerned, there have been over 100 prosecutions since the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 came into operation in March 2014.
Attached below are statistics on the number of complaints received by my Department through this Helpline, by county for the years 2017 to 2020:
AWC 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020