Dog owners may face an on-the-spot fine of €300 for failure to control their pets, under new law.
The new measures were announced today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.
Dog wardens can issue multiple fines at one time. For example, the owner of a restricted dog without muzzle, collar or dog licence may receive three separate fines, totalling €900.
The Minister also announced the establishment of a €2 million fund to upgrade local authority dog shelter facilities and vehicles nationwide.
Finally, she confirmed that a high-level stakeholder group will be asked to consider wider issues such as expanding the list of ‘restricted breeds.’
This is in light of a series of worrying recent incidents involving dog attacks.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys voiced her concerns over these recent incidents and said she believes this suite of measures is important in terms of promoting responsible dog ownership.
Great to visit @DogsTrust_IE and to see the wonderful work that the team does.
Today I’m announcing:
— Heather Humphreys (@HHumphreysFG) November 9, 2023
Minister Humphreys said: “Dogs can be a wonderful addition to a family or farm, however dog owners must take responsibility to ensure their dogs do not cause harm or nuisance to people or property.
“Recent events have again highlighted the dangers posed by dogs and my thoughts are very much with those recovering following these horrific experiences.
“So today, I am pleased to announce that I have signed regulations to triple on-the-spot fines under the Control of Dogs Act for more serious offences.
“I want to send a strong message to dog owners – if your dog is not controlled you will be fined. And if you own a restricted dog, you must comply with the regulations.”
In addition to the overhaul of fines, a Stakeholder Group will also examine expanding the list of ‘restricted breeds.’
Explaining the remit of the group, the Minister said:
“I recognise there is a wide variety of opinions in relation to how we as a country address issues of dog control and the very real public concern over dog attacks.
“For that reason, I have set up a high level stakeholder group comprising a range of sectoral interests and experts to advise on the most appropriate responses.
“While not pre-empting the work of the group, I do note decisions taken by the UK in terms of restricting certain dangerous breeds by the end the year.
“I think it is only appropriate that our own stakeholder group consider the merits of adopting a similar approach here, particularly in light of recent worrying incidents whereby people and livestock have been attacked.”