Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has announced funding of more than €5.8 million to 99 animal welfare charities nationwide - an increase of more than €2 million on last year.
The funding announcement was made on the second Annual Animal Welfare Awareness Day where the Minister also announced the winners of a children’s art competition.
Commenting on the record funding, Minister McConalogue said: “Animal welfare is important to all of us in Ireland and is a priority for me and the Government. I am delighted to announce today the highest ever level of funding of €5.8m to animal welfare charities. This money will go to support organisations across the country working to protect and take care of animals. The additional funding provided this year will make a real difference by improving the welfare of animals in Ireland.
“Those who work for animal welfare charities are frontline workers and treat it as a vocation. We are extremely grateful of the tremendous work they do in keeping pets and animals safe.”
Highlighting the important work done by animal welfare charities in Ireland, the Minister said: “I acknowledge the important work carried out, often in very challenging circumstances, by animal welfare organisations and their dedicated volunteers and staff across Ireland.
“Animal welfare charities play a crucial role in helping animals in need, educating people, and raising public awareness about improving animal welfare.”
Minister of State Pippa Hackett added:
“Today’s announcement represents a doubling of funding for animal welfare since this Government came to office. Many of the organisations who will benefit from today’s funding operate on a voluntary basis and carry out vital work in communities across the country. We are committed to continually improving animal welfare and this funding represents that commitment. It is also worth reminding people at this time of year that pet ownership comes with significant responsibilities and people should think carefully before buying a pet for Christmas. I would urge prospective pet owners to consider rehoming or fostering from a reputable animal welfare organisation, before buying”
Minister of State Martin Heydon said: “I am delighted to be part of my Department’s strong show of support for the work carried out by the many animal welfare organisations across the country. They play an important role in ensuring all animals are cared for and protected. It is work that we can all be proud of. We must also continue to put emphasis on education and the importance of responsibility pet ownership."
More than 1,000 excellent entries were received from children aged 10 to 12 across the country for the inaugural children’s art competition to mark Animal Welfare Awareness Day. The five winning entries were chosen bya judging panel led by ISPCA ambassador Rosanna Davison.
Ava McCole ,11, Co Galway, Joey Hughes, 12, Co Cavan, Sofia Vicinska, 11, Co Cavan, Órlaith Fahy, 11, Co Mayo and Brónagh Feeney 11, Co Sligo, were chosen as worthy winners from more than 1,000 entries. to be awarded as winners in the inaugural Animal Welfare Awareness Day children’s art competition.
Praising the quality of entries received from pupils who were asked to draw their favourite animal, Minister McConalogue congratulated all the participants.
“Not only were all our entrants extremely talented but their work shows an awareness for animal welfare that must be applauded
“It was wonderful to see the many entries from children all over the country and the judges had a hard time picking winners.
“It was very clear to me how passionate our children are about animals.
The winning entries were presented with their specially commissioned certificate to mark Animal Welfare Awareness Day by Minister McConalogue when they joined him on a visit to Farmleigh Estate where he met staff from the ISPCA, DSPCA, the Donkey Sanctuary and Dublin Zoo.
Details of the awards are available attached and here: gov.ie - Animal Welfare (www.gov.ie)