Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 1004 - Answered on 24th March, 2009
Aengus Ó Snodaigh:
To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in the context of his responsibility for animal welfare and the legal protection of animals from cruelty, he will introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: (Brendan Smith)
The new Animal Health and Welfare Bill, which is currently being drafted, gives effect to a number of animal health and welfare commitments contained in the Programme for Government. These commitments include the updating of existing legislation to ensure that animal welfare is properly protected and that penalties for offenders are increased significantly.
My officials have met with a wide range of organisations that made submissions on the draft summary of the Bill following the public consultation process initiated by me last year. The views expressed are being considered in the context of the drafting of the Bill.