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Minister Wallace announces grants of €24,000 to Meath Animal Welfare bodies

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, today announced the award of ex-gratia payments of €20,000 to Meath SPCA and €2,000 each to Last Hope Animal Charity and Dogs in Distress to assist in their work during 2007. This is part of an overall package of payments being made to Animal Welfare bodies throughout the country and these grants are being paid immediately.

Minister Wallace said that she was delighted to be able to help these largely voluntary groups. She added: "These bodies do excellent work in delivering animal care and welfare services. I want to pay tribute to all involved in the organisations concerned. There are increasing demands on their services and I hope that the funding I am providing will help in sustaining their efforts through the coming year. I accept that this funding does not cover the full costs to these bodies of meeting all the demands made on them. They will continue to need the support of the general public to maintain their operations at effective levels. I would appeal to the public to continue to give that support in any way they can."

Minister Wallace also said that in addition to their other activities, the ISPCA and various county SPCAs are involved with the Department and the IFA in the operation of the Early Warning/Intervention System for farm animal welfare cases arising from a recommendation from the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC).

The Minister appealed to people to act responsibly and with foresight in relation to giving pets as Christmas presents and in particular to heed the good advice given by animal welfare organisations in this regard.

13 December, 2006

Date Released: 13 December 2006