I am aware of the industry survey by pet food manufacturers in Ireland which is referenced by the Deputy.
Information supplied by local authorities to my Department for 2017 shows that the number of individual dog licences issued was nearly 200,000 and the number of licences issued for having more than one dog was over 800. Information relating to the number of people who own a dog but do not have a dog licence is not available in my Department.
It is a legal requirement for all dog owners to have a dog licence. In 2018, to make it easier to purchase a licence, local authorities rolled out a new online system for the purchase of dog licences. Licences can now be purchased online, at Post Offices or at local authority offices. This initiative demonstrates the commitment of local authorities to driving efficiencies and modernising to meet the needs of citizens. Furthermore, I understand that mobile access and reporting facilities, which will assist detection and evasion, will be enabled for the local authority dog warden service later this year.
Under the Control of Dogs Acts, local authorities are responsible for licensing services in their areas and my Department is not involved in this operational activity.