Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007
Written Answers. - Control of Dogs.
Mr. J. O’Keeffe Mr. J. O’Keeffe
Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to outlaw the  ownership of pit bull terriers here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2866/07]
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
Dr. Upton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has plans to introduce further legislation regarding the ownership and control of certain breeds of dogs, following reports of the tragic incident in the UK where a young child was mauled to death by a dog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1097/07]
Mr. O’Connor Mr. O’Connor
Mr. O’Connor asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in view of the recent tragic event in Liverpool, he has plans to review the effectiveness of the Control of Dogs Acts; if his attention has been drawn to the public interest in the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1431/07]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1783, 1811 and 1835 together.
The Control of Dogs Acts 1986 and 1992 place statutory responsibility for dog control and licensing services on local authorities. The implementation of the Acts is vested in local authorities who have power to appoint dog wardens, to provide shelters for stray and other dogs, to impose on-the-spot fines for a number of offences and to take prosecutions. Local authorities may also may bye-laws in relation to the control of dogs within their functional areas.
The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 made under the above Acts, place controls on ten breeds of dogs including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the English and Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeds. The controls, which must be observed when the dog is in a public place, require that these dogs, or types and crosses thereof, must be kept on a short lead by a person over 16 years of age who is capable of controlling them and that they are securely muzzled. Furthermore, the Control of Dogs Act 1986 gives specific powers to the courts to order that a dog, which the court considers dangerous, must be kept under proper control or be destroyed.
I consider that these arrangements provide a workable regulatory framework for enforcement by local authorities and I do not propose to ban the owning of any particular dog breed at this stage. However, I propose to review existing control measures to consider, for example, if the micro-chipping of dogs could bring benefits to dog control. I have also asked Dublin City Council for a report of the recent incident in Finglas.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. Control of Dogs.