The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced record funding awards of €3,200,000 to 101 animal welfare organisations throughout the country involved in protecting animals.
The Minister said “I am delighted to award this funding to animal welfare bodies countrywide, in what has been a particularly challenging year for the charity sector. These awards mark the largest allocation of funding to animal welfare bodies by my Department, and I am confident that the support will make a great difference to the lives of Irish animals.’’
In addition to today’s award of funding, Minister McConalogue reiterated the Programme for Government commitment to increase funding in the coming years and confirmed that the Department “is fully committed to reviewing the model and its underlying policy objectives, with a view to doubling the funding available within two years.”
The Minister acknowledged the people who work tirelessly across the country to protect animal welfare. He stated, ‘‘we are particularly fortunate in Ireland to have a strong, active voluntary sector dedicated to animal welfare. The staff and volunteers from the organisations in receipt of today’s funding in every county across Ireland show incredible commitment to protecting and caring for surrendered, abandoned and at-risk animals.”
The Minister paid tribute to the excellent work being undertaken by the DSPCA and the ISPCA officers authorised under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. He stated, “I welcome the important work carried out by these charities’ authorised officers. They play a vital role in implementing the Animal Health and Welfare Act, delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to robust enforcement. Great credit must also go to the smaller, local organisations, who do invaluable work. Everyone in the rescue sector is contributing to improved animal welfare in their own way.’’
The Minister urged people to think carefully before getting a pet this Christmas. He said, “If you decide you have the time and resources to welcome a new pet into your home, consider adopting an animal from a reputable rescue organisation.’’
He also advised people thinking of buying a pet to heed the advice of the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) adding that “a pet can bring great joy, but with that comes responsibility – new owners should ensure that they adopt or buy legally, and from a reputable source – you should always know where your new pet has come from.”
Finally, the Minister reminded anyone concerned about incidents of animal neglect or cruelty that they can contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine helpline by phone or on the dedicated email address.