Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

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Summary of the Act

“An Act to Revise the Law Relating to the Health and Welfare of Animals and Their Protection and Identification; To Provide for the Regulation of Certain Activities Relating to Animals; To Prevent Cruelty to Animals; To Make Provision for the Licensing of Animal Marts and for Levies for the Purposes of Animal Health and the Control of Animal Diseases; To Repeal Various Enactments Relating to Animals; To Amend the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, the Animal Remedies Act 1993 and the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and to Provide for Related Matters.”

S2 Interpretation – Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

Definition of a Protected Animal

The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 provides protection to “protected animals”, which is defined as follows in the Act:

A “protected animal” means an animal—

(a) kept for farming, recreational, domestic or sporting purposes in the State,
(b) when it is in the possession or under the control of a human being whether permanently or on a temporary basis, or
(c) that is not living in a wild state;

Part 8 Enforcement

  • S39 Power of member of Garda Síochána to arrest without warrant.
  • S40 Search of suspects and stopping vehicles (includes power to seize and detain)
  • S42 Animal health and welfare notice
  • S55 Summary proceedings

(1) An offence under this Act may be prosecuted summarily by—

(a) the Minister, other than in respect of an offence under section 18 or section 22 ,
(b) the local authority in whose functional area the offence is alleged to have been committed, or
(c) a member of the Garda Síochána, in accordance with section 8 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

(2) Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under this Act may be instituted within 12 months of the commission of the offence.


Powers Under the Act

Power to seize and detain an animal and move to a PLACE OF SAFETY

A “place of safety” can be anywhere a Garda “thinks fit” (see S 12  (7))

Power to search, detain suspect, seize evidence.

Permission for veterinary practitioner to examine.

Animal Health and Welfare Notice

An Animal Health and Welfare Notice is issued by an Authorised Officer to instruct owner/keeper to improve welfare of animal.

Example of Offences

  • Causing unnecessary suffering 
  • Failing to safeguard the welfare of an animal
  • Failing to provide sufficient food
  • Being neglectful regarding the health of an animal
  • Failure to seek veterinary attention
  • Being reckless regarding the health and welfare of an animal

Animal Ownership

In proceedings for an offence under this Act an animal, animal product, animal feed or other thing is presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to be owned by the occupier or person in charge of the land or premises on which it was found.

Part 2 Prevention and Control of Animal Disease

  • S8 (1) and (2) Prohibition on farm animals straying.
  • S10 Prohibition on spreading disease.

Part 3 Animal Welfare

  • S11 Duty to protect animal welfare
  • S12 Prohibition on animal cruelty
  • S13 Feeding of animals
  • S14 Prohibition on abandonment of animals
  • S15 Prohibition on animal fighting, etc.
  • S16 Prohibited operations and procedures
  • S17 Use of anaesthetics, etc.
  • S18 Protection of animals from poison
  • S19 Inspection of protected animals and equipment
  • S20 Records as regards intensive units
  • S21 Welfare of animals during sale
  • S22 Regulation of sale of animals to minors
  • S23 Humane destruction of animal
  • S24 Measures relating to animals in distress
  • S27 Duty to pay levy before export of live animals

Part 4 Codes of Practice

Part 5 Animal Health Levies

  • S29 Duty to keep records.

Part 10 Proceedings and Sanctions

  • S58 Disqualification

Part 11 Animal Tracing Systems

  • S63 Animal tracing systems
  • S64 Census of animals

Part 12 Animal Marts

  • S66 Prohibition of unlicensed animal marts, etc.
  • S67 Grant of licences for animal marts, etc.
  • S70 Regulations in relation to animal marts.

Part 13 Miscellaneous

  • S72 Forgery

Useful case studies

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