Legislation will be brought before the Oireachtas to prohibit fur farming in the State before Easter, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

The Department of Agriculture has also confirmed it will review the current funding model for animal welfare charities and the underlying public policy objectives with a view to doubling the available funding.

The announcements coincide with the launch of Ireland’s first animal welfare strategy on Monday 1 February.

The importance of animal welfare is reflected in the choices we make

Minister McConalogue said: “Irish people have a strong sense of empathy and responsibility towards animals. The importance of animal welfare is reflected in the choices we make as consumers when buying animal-based products and our reputation for high welfare standards is vital to our export markets.”

Department initiatives

The Department will also support UCD School of Veterinary Medicine in establishing Ireland’s first chair in animal welfare and veterinary ethics.

Teagasc has been asked to prioritise animal welfare topics in its education and research pogrammes.

The Minister also confirmed that the Department will lead a new co-ordinated approach to the control of horses, to address the evidence of straying and associated welfare concerns in urban areas.

Under the strategy, the farm animal welfare advisory council is set to be renewed, along with fresh emphasis on animal-based indicators to assess welfare standards and reduce the prevalence of tail docking in pigs.

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