Written Answers. - Dog Statistics.

390.

asked the Minister for Justice (i) the number of persons prosecuted for not holding a current dog licence; (ii) the number of dogs put down in the dogs' home last year; (iii) the contribution the State has made to the running of this home; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The statistics available relate to the number of offences in respect of which prosecutions were brought. which is not necessarily identical with the number of persons prosecuted. In 1976 the Garda brought prosecutions in relation to 1,184 offences.

An annual grant of £2,000 from the Garda Síochána Vote is paid to the Dublin Branch of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for relieving the garda in the Dublin Metropolitan Area of their duties under the Dogs Act, 1906. As regards the question of having dogs put down, this is a matter for the authorities in the home and I have no function in the matter.

The role of the Garda Síochána in the enforcement of the law relating to dogs as provided in the Dogs Act, 1906, is an anachronism in present day conditions. This has been recognised by the Oireachtas by the powers they have given in this matter to planning authorities in the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1976.