New Animal Health & Welfare Act Welcomed

Three of Ireland’s  leading animal welfare organisations  (ISPCA, Dogs Trust and The Irish Blue Cross) have welcomed the new Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) which is fundamental in preventing cruelty to animals in Ireland. 

"a momentous advancement for animal welfare in Ireland"

ISPCA Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Kelly said: “This is a momentous advancement for animal welfare in Ireland and we congratulate the Minister and his Department on bringing this progressive legislation to fruition.  For too long our fully trained Inspectors, have had to deal with horrendous cruelty to animals. This Act will enable them to be more proactive and to concentrate on the prevention of cruelty rather than having to wait for cruelty to occur before being able to take action. We look forward to working with the Department of Agriculture, the Gardai and other interested parties in maximising the benefits of this new act.”

Dogs Trust Executive Director Mark Beazley said:  “We welcome this ground breaking piece of animal welfare legislation, which is the most significant since the foundation of the state. We would like to acknowledge the extensive and inclusive consultation process carried out by Minister Simon Coveney and his officials at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, which has resulted in legislation that will be the envy of our European neighbours.”

Irish Blue Cross Manager Chris Conneely said:  “We greatly welcome the commencement of the new AHWA, which heralds reform in the animal health and welfare sector in Ireland.  The new legislation has been carefully brought together and stealthier measures permitted in the Act, will prove invaluable to enforcers in safeguarding our animals against cruelty and neglect throughout Ireland.  As an animal welfare charity that promotes responsible pet ownership and serves the needs of responsible and needy owners, we can now look forward to improved conditions and health for pets generally as a result of this reform."

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “For too long our Inspectors have been attempting to work with archaic and ineffectual laws that have often hindered their efforts to make a meaningful difference to the welfare of animals. The new act will close up old loop-holes and will allow us to address welfare issues in a far more effective manner.”

(ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling with Minister Simon Coveney and ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly)