ISPCA resources "stretched to breaking point"

The society has called for increased supports as it currently has only eight Inspectors covering 17 counties around the country

ISPCA resources "stretched to breaking point"

Image: ISPCA

The ISPCA has appealed for increased financial support for animal welfare officers in the fight against animal neglect, cruelty and abuse.

The animal welfare society today released their annual Inspectorate Report which highlights the high number of calls the National Animal Cruelty Helpline deals with each year.

The helpline has fielded over 53,000 calls since government legislation was enacted to provide ISPCA officers with statutory powers to tackle animal cruelty.

ISPCA Inspectors have carried out 11,065 investigations and over 2,795 animals were seized or surrendered since the Animal Health and Welfare Act came into force three years ago.

Stretched to capacity

ISPCA chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly said the society currently has only eight Inspectors covering 17 counties around the country.

“Our resources are stretched to breaking point and we need more Inspectors on the ground dealing with animal cruelty,” he said. “Our aim is to recruit enough Inspectors to cover the whole of the country and we would like to appeal to the animal loving public to help us with this work.”

“The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which came into force three years ago was a significant step forward for animal welfare in Ireland, but like any legislation it is only as good as its enforcement.”

Government support

Dr Kelly called on the government to back the society’s fight against animal cruelty by increasing supports, “both financially and through legislation.”

With 90% of ISPCA income received from public donations and through gifts in wills, the scoiety relies heavily on public support to continue its work.

“As our services increasingly become stretched to capacity I would also like to call upon the Irish public to continue to support the good work of the ISPCA in any way that they can - by looking at our website to make a single donation or consider becoming regular donors,” said Dr Kelly.

In 2016, the ISPCA initiated a total of 32 prosecutions - 15 of which have now been finalised in court with successful conclusions.

A total of 995 animals were seized or surrendered last year.

The society warned that all animal owners - and anyone who looks after animals - have a legal obligation to provide them with their welfare needs.