The matter of awarding local authority contracts referred to in your correspondence falls outside the remit of this Department and should be addressed directly to the relevant councils.
While the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 remains a matter for the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government and the Local Authorities, a joint inspection regime of Dog Breeding Establishments involving both the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and the Local Authority Veterinary Service had been inaugurated.
These inspections of puppy farms by officers of this Department will result in prosecutions under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 if the evidence supports the view that a prosecution is sustainable. In addition, where improvement in the facilities or management is identified, Animal Health & Welfare Notices are issued.
Over fifty prosecutions have been initiated under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013, including a number taken by this Department based on field inspections by Department Inspectors, authorised officers of the ISPCA and DSPCA and An Gardai Siochana. Several prosecutions have been successfully completed and the remainder are at various stages in the court system.
The Minister has no plans to restrict live exports from Ireland. This Department maintains an environment in which live exports can continue in an economic and sustainable manner with due regard for the welfare of animals. Ireland applies stricter national rules in relation to transport of animals by sea and continues to apply its stricter and more detailed national legislation in this area. In this regard, Ireland has a comprehensive legislative framework in place for some time to ensure that vessels authorised for the carriage of livestock by sea are designed and fitted out in a manner which ensures the welfare of the animals. The Department operates a strict licensing system in respect of ships who undertake this trade and continues to work closely with the World Organisation for Animal Health (01E) to ensure that welfare standards are raised internationally. The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
I would like to reassure you that this Department will continue to work to ensure that animal welfare is protected. The public are urged to continue to report cases of animal neglect and or abuse to the animal welfare helpline in operation by this Department firstname.lastname@example.org or on the helpline Lo call number 0761 064408.