Belfast Telegraph

Over 100 stray dogs put down in Northern Ireland and hundreds more given to shelters

By Eamon Sweeney

More than 100 stray and unwanted dogs were put down by Northern Ireland's councils in a three-month period.

Hundreds of others had to be passed to shelters or animal organisations. The figures were released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

It is the first time the department has published such detailed statistics, which will now be released on a quarterly basis.

The data also includes income generated by issuing dog licences, stray dogs, dog attacks and the amount of prosecutions taken against dog owners for canine-related offences. The figures released yesterday cover the three months between April and June this year.

They show 105 dogs were humanely destroyed by the 11 local councils - 61 who were unwanted and 44 strays.

A further 418 strays or unwanted dogs were passed to shelters or animal charities.

The figures also show 68 dog owners were prosecuted for not having their pet licensed while 45 were taking to court for allowing their dogs to stray.

A variety of attacks by dogs were also investigated, the bulletin reveals.

In total there were 198 dog attacks on people reported.

A further 40 cases of dogs worrying livestock and 136 instances where dogs attacked other family pets were also recorded in the three-month period.

Chief Veterinary Officer Robert Huey said: "By publishing this information on the website we are making it open and accessible to everyone.

"As a domestic rather than agricultural animal, dogs are primarily a matter for councils as opposed to the department.

"However, we have a statutory responsibility to collate the statistics.

"These, in turn, provide an overview, giving figures on a variety of issues.

"This is an illustration of the work which goes on at a local level across Northern Ireland."

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