Animals are often treated with cruelty in our society. This is largely because they are viewed as a commodity by the private, profit-driven sector. We condemn all forms of cruelty and neglect. We advocate decent conditions for animals – where offspring are not separated from their mothers too soon, and where animals are kept in clean environments that are not cramped. We are opposed to the use of growth hormones and unnecessary usage of antibiotics or steroids. The use of painful methods of killing – such as grinding up live chicks – is abhorrent and should be banned outright. Furthermore, we want to see the following policies brought into effect:
- Conduct a full audit of animal welfare issues in Ireland. In line with the recommendations of the ISPCA, there should be an independent audit of animal welfare issues in Ireland covering companion animals, equines, farm animals, wild animals and animals used for entertainment, sport and research.
- Increase financial support for animal welfare charities. Although ex-gratia grants to animal welfare charities have increased in recent years, more funding should be made available for reputable animal welfare organisations.
- Promote responsible pet ownership through the school curriculum. Education is the key to better animal welfare in Ireland. We would like to see animal welfare lessons and activities introduced to the curriculum of all schools in Ireland.
- Conduct a full review of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 (DBEA). The ISPCA has called for a review of the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010 which regulates dog breeding in Ireland. Puppy farming is a serious problem in Ireland. Currently anyone with six or more breeding bitches must be licensed and registered by the local authority. Dogs are social animals and this must be reflected in the regulations. There should be a minimum ratio of carers to dogs introduced to ensure high welfare standards and to ensure that all dogs are properly socialised. We would also like to see the introduction of random, unannounced inspections carried out by the Department of Agriculture, local authorities and the ISPCA.