Written Answers - Animal Welfare.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 628 No. 4

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  68.  Mr. Penrose  Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of people who have been imprisoned and the length of time as a result of being convicted of violating animal welfare related legislation during each of the past five years; the legislation violated in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40548/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The main statutes governing cruelty to animals in this country are the Protection of Animals Acts 1911 and 1965. Responsibility for pursuing cases under that legislation rests with the Garda Síochána who may, on receipt of a complaint, investigate and bring a prosecution against any person alleged to have committed an act of cruelty against an animal. Information on convictions and-or on sentences imposed is not available to my Department. My Department also has certain statutory responsibility for the welfare and protection of farmed animals under the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act 1984 and the European Community (Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes) Regulations 2000. In addition there is specific legislation in relation to pigs, calves and laying hens. Implementation of this legislation is dealt with generally by officers based in my Department’s District Veterinary Offices. While information in relation to animal welfare cases dealt with in any particular year, including cases [1438]where prosecutions have been brought, is not compiled centrally in my Department, I am not aware of any case where a term of imprisonment has been imposed under this legislation.

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