A new report from the Oireacthas committee chaired by Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill has addressed Issues Impacting Dog Welfare in Ireland. The Committee is calling for an overhaul of legislation relating to dog ownership, welfare and breeding, including outright bans on certain practices, and tighter regulation.
The key recommendations made by the Committee are that:
· Owning dogs with cropped ears should be banned
· Canine fertility services should be regulated in order to prevent such services being carried out by untrained people and to prosecute illegal occurrences of these practises.
· Surgical Artificial Insemination of dogs should be banned due to the risks involved to dogs
· All local authorities are to make their register of Dog Breeding Establishments readily available online and accessible to the public;
· The ratio of one fulltime staff member to 25 breeding female dogs in Dog Breeding Establishments needs to be reconsidered.
· A maximum limit of breeding females permitted at a Dog Breeding Establishments should be introduced to ensure a better quality of welfare for the dogs.
· Information inputted into the dog microchip system should be standardised
· Information held on Ireland’s four microchip databases should be stored and collated in one central online portal held by Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, that authorised officers and canine welfare organisations can access.
· The Animal Health and Welfare (Dogs) Bill 2022 should be passed to update the dog licencing system as it is currently an inadequate means to prove ownership of a dog which is a loophole that can be exploited.
· All five pieces of legislation relating to dogs should be brought under the remit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, Animal Health and Welfare (Sale or Supply of Pet Animals) Regulations 2019, Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015, Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010; and the Control of Dogs Act 1986.