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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Fines for owners not in control of dangerous dogs to double under new proposals

Cabinet will hear plans this morning to hire 40 new dog wardens and to double fines for owners who are not in control of their dogs.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue will ask Ministers to back recommendations from a working group examining dangerous dogs to increase fines from €2,500 to €5,000.

The Minister was tasked by Tánaiste Micheál Martin with carrying out a review of legislation across Government after a young boy was violently attacked by a pit bull terrier in Wexford late last year.

READ MORE: Tánaiste tells Women of Honour group report into scandal will be 'watershed moment'.

Alejandro Mizsan, 9, was attacked by a pit bull in Enniscorthy in November and suffered “life-changing injuries”.

The dog - which was later put down - tore off his bottom lip and mauled each of his cheeks, as well as injuring the boy's body and legs.

There have also been a number of high-profile dog attacks on sheep in recent weeks.

Minister McConalogue, along with Heather Humphreys, established an interdepartmental working group which is examining issues such as fines for dog owners found in breach of the Control of Dogs Act, enforcement at a local level, microchipping, licences, breeding establishments and the sale of dogs.

The group’s interim report has 15 recommendations, which will be discussed at Cabinet this morning.

These include the recruitment of 40 additional dog wardens nationwide, increasing the fine under the Control of Dogs Act to €5,000 from €2,500 and improving dog traceability and welfare through the creation of a single centralised database for dog microchips.

The regulation around breeding, sale and supply of dogs will also be strengthened by creating a centralised national database for dog breeding establishments.

The group’s final report is expected to be ready by the summer, sources told the Irish Mirror.

Elsewhere at this morning’s Cabinet meeting, ministers will hear plans from Culture Minister Catherine Martin for a five year “Creative Youth Plan''. This will support creative programmes for potentially tens of thousands of young people nationwide.

Paschal Donohoe, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister, will bring plans to enhance the delivery of National Development Plan (NDP) Projects.

There will be a number of priority actions that will be progressed in 2023, including a change to the Public Spending Code that will see the threshold for major projects upgraded from €100 million to €200 million. There will also be fewer Secretaries General on The Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board.

Cabinet will be told that delivery of the NDP has been adversely impacted over the past three years and that issues such as construction inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, labour supply, planning delays and legal challenges via judicial reviews could pose problems in 2023.

Ministers will hear that priority actions will be progressed this year to enhance project delivery and deliver vital infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, roads and public transport.


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