Urgent review of dog control legislation needed

June 5, 2017

The Social Democrats are calling for an urgent review of dog control laws following the tragic weekend incident in Moycullen, Co. Galway, where a woman lost her life due to a dog attack.

The party’s Galway representative Niall Ó Tuathail said:

“Our dog control laws are not working – in fact the rate of hospitalisations from dog bites has been rising for the past few decades. This unfortunately makes fatalities more and more likely.

“The evidence says that you need to educate owners and place restrictions on any dog that shows signs of aggressive behaviour, rather than just controlling certain breeds and only in public places. Ireland has almost four times the rate of dog bite hospitalisations compared to Netherlands where they take this wider approach.

“Last year, Veterinary Ireland claimed dog control legislation needed updating. NUIG dog behaviour expert Dr. Páraic Ó Súilleabháin has provided a framework for strict regulations that would effectively control dogs showing early signs of aggressive behaviour without punishing owners of dogs who are at no risk of aggression. The Minister for Local Government must now act, starting by meeting with experts and reviewing the regulations so that incidents like the tragedy in Moycullen are less likely to happen in the future.”

Niall Ó Tuathail is available for further comment or interview on 083-4556957

ENDS

Sources:
Veterinary Ireland report: http://www.veterinaryireland.ie/images/Veterinary_Ireland_Policy_on_Control_of_Dogs_2016.pdf

Statistics regarding dog bite rates: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/dangerous-dogs-alert-after-50-rise-in-hospitalisations-study-1.2188148

5 June 2017