Dáil Éireann - Volume 566 - 14 May, 2003

Written Answers. - Stray Animals.

  265. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his views on the need for a national neutering and micro-chipping programme for stray cats and dogs; and his plans to address this need in view of the fact that volunteers at present do this work to a very limited extent due to lack of resources. [13193/03]

  Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): It is generally recognised that greater recourse by owners of cats and dogs to spaying and neutering can help control the population of these species and reduce the number of such animals straying. The efforts being made by certain animal welfare bodies to facilitate access by owners to spaying and neutering services are commendable and I was pleased to be able to approve a grant of €10,000 to Veterinary Ireland last year towards the cost of their national spay week initiative.

  The limited resources that local authorities can allocate to dog control activities are fully absorbed by them in carrying out their obligations under the Dog Control Acts. I would not be in favour of additional costs being imposed on them through a national programme as suggested by the Deputy.