Saturday 23 February 2019

Funding windfall for animal welfare groups

Minister Michael Creed unveiled more than €2.7 million in funding for animal welfare groups
Minister Michael Creed unveiled more than €2.7 million in funding for animal welfare groups

Bill Browne

Animal welfare organisations across Cork have been given a welcome New Year boost after it emerged they are to share in a more than €2.7million funding windfall.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed unveiled the €2,751,000 funding package, which will be divided between 108 animal welfare groups around the country. 

Nine Cork-based organisations will between them receive payments totalling €326,500, with the largest single beneficiary being The Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll, which was allocated €130,000. 

Since its foundation in 1987 the Sanctuary has rescued and rehabilitated more than 5,000 donkey and mules and cares for more than 1,800 animals at its Liscarroll base and at temporary shelters around the country.  As the centre receives no statutory funding and relies on fundraising activities donations from the public, the latest allocation will be vital to the day-to-day running of the facility during 2019. 

It will also be used to fund the various education programmes conducted at the Sanctuary. 

The other Cork-based organisations to receive funding were: Cork SPCA (€100,000), the Milford based Cork Action Dog Welfare Group (€27,500), Charleville-based Pauline's Rescue (€23,000), The Cork Cat Action Trust (€15,000), Community Cats Network (€7,000), the West Cork Animal Welfare Group (€17,000), Re-homing Cork Pets in Carrigadrohid (€5,000) and the Buttevant-based Homeless Animal Rescue Team (€2,000). 

Announcing the funding Minister Creed said Ireland was very fortunate to have a strong and vibrant voluntary sector dedicated to animal welfare and it was his great pleasure to be able to help fund their work. 

The Minister recalled the major improvements in animal welfare that have taken place in recent years describing the reform of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which replaced legislation dating back to more than a century as a particular milestone. 

He acknowledged that the workload for many voluntary organisations had increased over recent years on account of a number of factors, including the active enforcement 2013 Act. 

He also acknowledged and welcomed the "very active role" being played by ISPCA officers in enforcing and carrying out their duties as authorised officers in applying the Act to domestic animals.

"While this high profile work gets a lot of attention, that should not diminish the work being done everyday by smaller rescue organisations. Everyone in the rescue sector is contributing to improved welfare in their own way," said Minister Creed.