A statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

A statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

“In an interview we conducted with Gina Hetherington of PAWS Animal Rescue, about PAWS being unable to take anymore dogs for the foreseeable future because of a €50k vet bill and no increase in funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. At the time the interview was prerecorded, there had been no response back from the department. However when airing the programme on Kilkenny Today on Friday, between 5-6pm, it was acknowledged that a statement had been received in the intervening period. The statement was too long to read out, so it was summarised. 

Here is the statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in full:

In December 2021, the Minister awarded record funding of €3.7 million to 98 animal welfare charities throughout the country including 68 organisations involved in the rescuing and rehoming of dogs. This was a significant increase in funding, up from €2.9m in 2019 and €3.2m in 2020. The Department recently convened an Animal Welfare Charities Seminar at its Backweston Campus in Co Kildare, attended by groups from across Ireland, at which the Minister recognised the important work carried out by the staff and volunteers of animal welfare charities across Ireland. The Minister announced at that seminar that he was committed to further increasing the level of funding provided in 2022, in line with the Programme for Government commitment on support to animal welfare charities.


Applications for annual funding from animal welfare organisations are assessed carefully and awards are made on the basis of objective criteria. These include the level and type of assistance provided by the organisation in the delivery of care and welfare services to animals and the level of funding raised by organisations from other sources to support welfare activities. This year, as with 2021, and in line with the policy objectives of the Department’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025, the assessment of funding application places additional emphasis on the ‘One Health, One Welfare’ approach to education and dissemination of knowledge to improve animal welfare delivered by the organisations. 


The 2022 awards will be announced in December. A list of all the animal welfare charities which received funds in 2021, and the amount provided to each, is published here: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/2d3bb-minister-mcconalogue-announces-record-funding-to-animal-welfare-organisations/ .