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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 2009. This is part of an overall package of payments totalling €1,250,000 being made immediately to 110 animal welfare organisations throughout the country to assist in their work in 2009.

The Minister paying tribute to the animal welfare bodies operating throughout the country in both urban and rural areas said that "these groups do marvellous work in rescuing, rehabilitating and providing new homes for neglected animals". The Minister recognises that the ex-gratia funds do not cover the full costs incurred in meeting all the demands placed upon organisations and reminded people that "these welfare organisations which play such a vital role in animal welfare, particularly with regard to small animals still require the ongoing generous financial support from the general public to enable them fulfil their work to promote animal welfare and relieve animal suffering in Ireland".

Minister Sargent said that the continued funding for animal welfare organisations was evidence of the Government's commitment in the area of animal welfare. He appealed to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a Christmas present because taking ownership of a pet comes with a responsibility to the animal and the Minister went on to say that "the number of animals that are abandoned every year as soon as the Christmas novelty has worn off indicates that people are not giving due consideration to the commitment that is required in owning an animal". The Minister urged people to heed the warnings and advice offered by the animal welfare organisations in this regard.

Date Released: 22 December 2008