Increase in funding for Animal Welfare organisations for 2023.
I'm thrilled that there is to be a 15% increase in core funding and an overall increase of 55% for animal welfare charities including Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
I was lead negotiator on animal welfare during Programme for Government negotiations and I am immensely proud of what we are achieving in this area including year on year increases in funding.
Today’s announcement of the Animal Welfare Grant Programme for Registered Animal Charities represents a 15% increase on last year’s core funding and in many cases includes additional funding for education and throughput. Laois SPCA receives €38,250, Offaly SPCA receives €40,825 and Westmeath SPCA €20,400. Today’s announcement is for a total of €5.8m across all counties, representing a 3rd year in a row of record funding.
We have a strong, active voluntary sector dedicated to animal welfare, and I thank them for their tireless efforts. I also thank Minister McConalogue for his personal commitment to this funding and to the officials in the Department of Agriculture who work closely with many of the animal welfare organisations. In an ideal world there would be no surrendered or abandoned animals and that is why the education and awareness element of organisations work is so valuable.
It is a good time to renew my annual call not to give the gift of an animal at Christmas: Giving a home to an animal is a big decision with both financial and time cost implications. Rehoming a rescue animal can be immensely rewarding, as I know from personal experience, but it needs careful planning. A rushed or under researched decision can lead to unnecessary distress for the animal and add to the workload of the animal welfare organisations: Better for all to get the decision right first time.
Today’s funding announcement for animal welfare organisations is evidence of this Government’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare. The organisations funded today play a crucial role in ensuring all our animals are cared for and protected. This is frontline work that we can all be proud of and we can all play a role in supporting.