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Minister Sargent announces grants to Animal Welfare Organisations

Mr Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today announced the award of an ex-gratia payment of €10,000 to the Irish Seal Sanctuary, Garristown, Co Dublin to assist its work during 2008. This is part of an overall package of payments totalling €1,459,000 being made immediately to 107 animal welfare organisations throughout the country to assist in their work in 2008.

Minister Sargent paid tribute to all these organisations and the thousands of voluntary workers throughout the country who work with them and said that "these organisations do tremendous work in rescuing, rehabilitating and providing new homes to neglected and abused animals". He said that, while the grants being announced today do not cover the full costs of the increasing demands being placed upon these organisations, "the substantial increase in the level of funding was in recognition of the vital role played by such organisations in animal welfare, particularly in respect of small animals" and acknowledged that "animal welfare organisations still require the ongoing generous financial support of the general public to enable them to fulfil their mission to promote animal welfare and relieve animal suffering in Ireland".

Minister Sargent said that the increase in funding for animal welfare organisations was evidence of the Government's commitment in the area of animal welfare. He said that, given the new fisheries' responsibilities in the Department it was particularly appropriate that among the first-time recipients of funding is the Irish Seal Sanctuary, which has, for many years, been providing welfare support for rescued marine wildlife found in difficulty around the Irish coast.

Minister Sargent appealed to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a Christmas present and reminded people of the numbers of animals that are abandoned every year as soon as the Christmas novelty has worn off. Minister Sargent urged people to heed the warnings and advice offered by the animal welfare organisations in this regard.

14 December, 2007

Date Released: 14 December 2007