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Minister Wallace announces grants of €33,000 for Meath Animal Welfare Bodies

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today announced the award of ex-gratia payments of €20,000 to Meath SPCA and €5,000 each to Last Hope Animal Charity, Navan and Dogs in Distress, Dunboyne and €3,000 to Carolan's, Kells to assist in their work during the coming year 2008. This is part of an overall package of payments being made to Animal Welfare bodies throughout the country and are being paid immediately.

Minister Wallace said that it gave her great satisfaction to be in a position to assist these organisations because of the nature of the voluntary service provided in delivering animal care. She paid tribute to the animal welfare organisations in Co Meath and their many voluntary workers and said that "these bodies do tremendous work in rescuing, rehabilitating and providing new homes to neglected and abused animals." The Minister said that, while the overall grants for this year represent a significant increase on 2006 payments, they did not cover the full costs of the increasing demands being placed upon organisations, and she 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 Wallace said that the increase in funding for animal welfare organisations was evidence of the Government's commitment in the area of animal welfare and she was pleased to be able to assist these largely voluntary organisations in delivering animal welfare services. She 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. The Minister 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