50 prosecutions this year under new Animal Health laws

There have been 50 prosecutions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act to date this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has confirmed.

The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 is a legal instrument with wide application and potential use by a range of authorised officers in a wide variety of settings, the Minister said.

“Local authorities, An Garda Siochana and officials of my Department are empowered to take prosecutions under the Act.

“To date, over 50 prosecutions have been initiated under the Act, including those taken by my Department arising from field inspections by Department Officers, authorised officers of the ISPCA and DSPCA and An Garda Siochana.”

The Minister said that several prosecutions have been successfully completed and the remainder are at various stages in the court system.

Earlier this year, the new programme for Government outlined a host of policy initiatives for the agriculture sector, including initiatives under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

The Act is to be strengthened and enforced, also a new Animal Health Strategy will be published. Also under animal health, the individual blackspots in TB eradication are to be addressed by the Government.

Last month, the Minister met with the Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and among the issues discussed were the ongoing market difficulties being experienced by farmers and the responses required to mitigate their impact.

In addition, the latest developments in international trade negotiations, including in relation to Mercosur and TTIP, were discussed, as well as agriculture-related elements of the Programme for Partnership Government.