Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ceisteanna (1014)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1014. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which he continues to monitor all aspects of animal welfare including canine and non-sporting equines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14267/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I am fully committed to promoting good practices that respect the welfare of all animals and my Department devotes considerable resources to protecting animal welfare and in dealing with breaches of animal welfare legislation.

Officials from my Department are directly involved in monitoring  animal welfare on farms as part of their inspection duties  in the areas of animal health, food safety, transportation and welfare. My Department also actively works via the regional Early Warning System to ensure that potential welfare problems in farming are identified at an early stage and wherever possible avoided.

I would encourage anyone who has evidence of a breach of animal welfare to report it to the Animal Welfare Hotline operated by my Department. The phone numbers of the hotline are as follows:

Call Save: 076 1064408

Phone: 01 6072379

Where breaches of animal welfare are suspected, these can also be emailed to animalwelfare@agriculture.gov.ie.

Control in respect of animal welfare is a matter that is also dealt with by a wider range of organisations not just my Department. In the case of  non-farmed animals, a vital role is played by An Gárda Síochána, Local Authorities and authorised officers of the ISPCA and DSPCA.  These latter are some of the many recipients of substantial ex-gratia funding which my Department provides to underpin important work done by many organisations in the area of supporting animal welfare.

In December 2018, I announced the largest ever Department allocation of funding to 108 animal welfare organisations of €2,751,000.