CLLR Willie Aird is calling for tighter regulation on dog ownership and believes Laois County Council should introduce a control policy similar to the one introduced recently for horses.
Proposing the motion at the recent Portlaoise Town Council, Cllr Aird said that a great job has been done with the implementation of the Control of Horses Policy, which clearly outlines the rules of horse ownership. While the existing Dog Act provides for a dog pound and warden in County Laois, Cllr Aird said that different legistlation is needed to bring together all the disparate strands of dog ownership, encompassing both animal welfare and protecting the public from all undesirerable aspects of the animals.
Speaking to the Leinster Express after the meeting, Cllr Aird explained that traceability is key and he recommended bringing in a microchipping system for dogs.
“99% of people who have animals look after them, but it’s the 1% who cause all the trouble,” he said.
Cllr Aird’s proposal would make it easier for anyone experiencing difficulties with dogs to take action to resolve the problem.
“At the minute, if you have a problem you have to go to the ISPCA or the dog warden, but for horses you just ring Laois County Council and they can deal with it. This would make it quicker to assess.”
His sentiments were shared by many of his colleagues at the council meeting, with Cllr Alan Hand remarking: “There’s nothing more distressing than someone on shift work and there’s a dog out all night barking.”
Cllr Caroline Dwane said it was equally important to ensure dogs were kept in an environment safe to both the animal and the public and she told of a jogger she knew who had recently been bitten by a dog.
“There’s a responsibility on owners to ensure they’re well looked after,” she said.