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McConalogue writes to Cabinet in effort to tighten laws around control of dogs

This comes after a young boy was attacked by a dog in Co Wexford last month.

AGRICULTURE MINISTER Charlie McConalogue has written to Cabinet in an effort to tighten the laws around the control of dogs. 

This comes after a young boy was attacked by a dog in Co Wexford last month. 

Alejandro Mizsan was near his home in Enniscorthy when he was attacked by a pit bull cross and left with life-changing injuries.

He has undergone skin grafts since he was rushed to Crumlin Hospital by helicopter for his serious wounds.

The incident has sparked discussion over how to approach the issue of dog ownership and protection.  

The Department of Agriculture has the responsibility for dog welfare and the microchipping and tracing of dogs. The Department of Rural and Community Development is in charge of the Control of Dogs Act.

It is understood that the Taoiseach told the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party that McConalogue would be coordinating with other Ministers on legislation and enforcement surrounding dogs and their owners.

Under the Control of Dogs Acts, local authorities have the power to not just issue dog licences, but also to seize dogs, impose on-the-spot fines and take court proceedings against dog owners. 

RTÉ reports this morning that McConalogue has written to Cabinet colleagues about the tighening of laws around the control of dogs. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, McConalogue said that there are a number of laws in place for a number of dog breeds at the moment requiring them to be muzzled and have leads on if they’re out in public. 

However, he said those requirements are not always followed. 

“That is something that we have to come together that ensure that enforcement of existing laws are clamped down on. That’s why the Taoiseach asked me to engage across Departments in relation to how we can do that better, and also to look at what additional streps we can take to improve co-ordination and to address the issue,” the Minister said. 

“What happened in Wexford was horrifying,” he said.

We have to take every step we can to ensure that policy is being implemented and enforced and also if there is anything additional we can do, that we assess what that is and establish that.”

McConalogue also confirmed he will later today announce a 55% increase in support for animal welfare charities across the country. 

“It’ll be a 55% increase … to allow these organisations to continue the massively important work that they do,” he said. 

He added: “As we know, Christmas is not the time to decide to get a dog, that’s a decision for another time of year and a decision everyone needs to think about very carefully.”

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