UNDERLINING the Government's commitment to animal welfare, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, launched the Animal Welfare Grant Programme for Registered Animal Charities for 2021, inviting applications from eligible charities by the looming deadline date of July 23rd.

Minister McConalogue (FF) said: “My Department invites applications for the Grant Programme for 2021 in recognition of Ireland’s strong, active voluntary sector dedicated to animal welfare. The staff and volunteers from animal welfare organisation’s show incredible commitment to preventing animal welfare issues arising in the first place, and when they do, protecting and caring for surrendered, abandoned and at-risk animals."

The Minister spoke of his commitment to the Programme for Government priorities in relation to animal welfare. “Animal welfare is a high priority for my Department and considerable resources and funding are provided to address the issue. The Programme for Government contains an undertaking to provide additional funding to support animal welfare in the coming years to which I am fully committed.

"In December 2020, I announced record funding of €3.2 million to 101 animal welfare organisations throughout the country to assist them in their valuable work and to help offset some of the difficulties created by the Covid-19 pandemic."

Animal Welfare Strategy

In February 2021, Minister McConalogue launched Ireland’s first Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025. The Strategy takes a ‘One Health, One Welfare’ approach, recognising the inter-relationship between human wellbeing and animal welfare for the benefit of both animals and society. The Strategy also prioritises education and knowledge transfer to improve animal welfare.

“My Department has recently undertaken a review of our support system for animal welfare charities to ensure alignment with animal welfare policies, objectives and priorities outlined in the new Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025.

"Animal welfare is increasingly important to Irish citizens, and we are ever more aware of the interrelationship between the welfare of animals and human wellbeing. The level of funding available and the disbursement method for 2021 will be determined taking account of these policy objectives with an emphasis on the ‘One Health, One Welfare’ approach and dissemination of education and knowledge to improve animal welfare.”

Applicants are invited to submit applications to: welfaregrants@agriculture.gov.ie