Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 20 March, 2007

Written Answers. - Animal Welfare.

Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will afford cats the same protection in law as dogs and require incidents of cruelty to be recorded and humane neutering of feral cats to be undertaken in the interest of animal welfare. [9879/07]

  Mary Coughlan: My Department has statutory responsibility for the welfare and protection of farmed animals under the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act 1984, and the European Communities (Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 705 of 2006). It does not have statutory responsibility for the care and welfare of other animals such as cats.

The Protection of Animals Act 1911 and the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1965 are the principal statutes governing cruelty to animals in this country. Responsibility for pursuing complaints under that legislation rests with An Garda Síochána. On receipt of such complaints, the Gardai have a statutory basis on which to investigate and bring a prosecution against any person alleged to have committed an act of cruelty against an animal.