Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 24 - Answered on Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Brian Stanley, TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if minks, cats and racing horses will be included in the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): The new Animal Health and Welfare Bill proposes to amend, consolidate and update legislation in the area of animal health and welfare, particularly to reflect the changed disease status of our animals and to ensure that the welfare of all animals is properly protected. In the Bill the term animal “means a member of the kingdom animalae other than a human being”, mink, cats and horses will therefore all be covered by its general provisions.

Under the Bill, persons possessing animals are required to safeguard their welfare and provide them with adequate food, water and shelter. There will also be provisions for powers of intervention where an animal is deemed to be at risk of being welfare compromised and issues such as the prevention of unnecessary suffering and abandonment of animals will also be addressed. In addition the new Bill proposes to increase both the powers of authorised officers and the level of penalties to be imposed with fines being proportionate to the offence. The Bill will be published shortly.

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