The possibility of dog control notices are “under consideration”, according to the Minister for Rural and Community Development.

Minister Heather Humphreys has also confirmed that she plans to establish a “stakeholder group on the control of dogs issues” in the coming weeks.

The minister, whose department’s remit includes dog control and dog breeding, said existing legislative around key areas is currently being reviewed and that her department is working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) “to co-ordinate efforts in the area of dog control across government”.

In response to a parliamentary question tabled by the Independents 4 Change TD, Joan Collins, in relation to the Control of Dogs Act, Minister Humphreys said she was currently considering a number of recommendations put forward by a working group on the control of dogs’ issue. 

“I am currently considering increases to on-the-spot fines for offences under the Control of Dogs Acts 1986 to 2014 which requires the drafting of a statutory instrument.

“Items under consideration include the possibility for dog control notices, the inclusion of additional breeds in the restricted dogs list and updates to definitions contained in the Dog Breeding Establishments Act,” the minister added.

According to Minister Humphreys “updates to the existing legislation are required” and it is proposed that amendments will be made through a Control of Dogs and Dog Breeding Establishment Miscellaneous Bill.

But she also warned that the issues raised around control of dog and also dog breeding “are wide ranging and complex.

Minister Humphreys told Deputy Collins that these “require in depth analysis and consultation to ensure amendments are not just robust, fit for purpose and implementable but that they also deliver the best outcomes for communities and for dogs themselves”.

She also confirmed that “signage in relation to by-laws is a matter for local authorities”.

“It is my intention to establish a stakeholder group on the control of dogs issues in the coming weeks, which will also be tasked with consideration of the types of changes that may be necessary,” the minister added.