Irish Animal Welfare Legislation

Reggie Quinn, a volunteer for the GalwaySPCA has kindly submitted the following article. You can visit the GalwaySPCA site at Reggie also runs and can be contacted through this page

“Last July, the Department of Agriculture received many submissions from interested groups and individuals on how Irish Animal Welfare Legislation could be improved. One of those submissions was from myself, a dog owner, student and volunteer with Galway SPCA. I proposed, amongst other things, to modernise the Dog Licence. As there is no incentive at the moment to buy a Licence other than to avoid a fine, I thought it could be made to work harder for the dog owner by making use of modern technology.”

“I proposed that each registered dog would have an accurate description (unique features to aid identification) complete with photograph and owner’s contact information stored on a secure online database. This would make it easier for authorised persons to search these records in the event that a dog is found and help to re-unite dog with owner. Animal Welfare Organisations would be able to differentiate stray from abandoned dogs immediately so that their resources could go towards the care and re-homing of abused and unwanted dogs.”

“On the other hand, if a registered dog were to go missing the owner could alert the database, either online or via a National Lost Dog Hotline. This would flag the dog’s record as ‘missing’ to all concerned, nationwide. A lost dog poster would be automatically generated for the owner using the stored details. Participants could opt to become part of a National Dog Owners’ Network and receive lost dog text alerts in their area, thereby increasing the chances of a lost dog being found and returned to its original home.”

“Dog owners could have other incentives to register their dogs, for example, to avail of a membership card with access to discounted veterinary treatments, accessories etc., negotiated on their behalf. Each online record may also include information about the dog’s past veterinary treatments, vaccinations, and whether they are up to date, to aid veterinary practices. It may also be helpful to show any other databases the dog’s details may be recorded on for example, the national microchip database, ANIMARK.”

“My hope is that whatever the Animal Welfare Bill brings this summer, that it shows Ireland to be a country that cares for all animals and that its policy of killing unwanted dogs is cast into the archives for good.”

Many thanks to Reggie for this news contribution. Do you have dog related news, a story or tip you wish to share? Email us or use the online contact form here.

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