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ISPCA supports call for EU legislation protecting pets


The ISPCA is supporting Eurogroup for Animals, of which we are a member, in their call for EU legislation protecting companion animals.

Across Europe there are 80 million households with at least one pet, and an additional 7 million equines kept. These animals are not protected by law everywhere in the EU. Legislation protecting companion animals remains a competence of individual member states.

In Ireland, everyone’s beloved pets are lucky enough to be protected. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) which came into force in March 2014 put a legal responsibility on the owner of any protected animal (including companion animals) to provide for that animal’s needs.

The AHWA also gave ISPCA Inspectors the legal power to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and neglect, establish the facts in each case and choose to initiate a prosecution.

In 2017 under the AHWA, the ISPCA handled:

  • 16,211 calls made the National Animal Cruelty Helpline
  • 3,273 investigations carried out by ISPCA Inspectors
  • 1,250 animals seized or surrendered to the ISPCA (including over 750 dogs and 350 cats)
  • 19 prosecutions initiated with 21 cases finalised in court in 2017


The ISPCA supports Eurogroup’s “Care for Our Companions” campaign because we would like to see pets across Europe have the same protection they have in Ireland, and see all those who abandon, neglect and abuse animals held to account.


We want to show European institutions and decision-makers that Irish citizens care for their cats, dogs, horses, donkeys and other pets, and that they care about the welfare of companion animals across the EU.


By proving that European citizens want better protection for their pets, the ISPCA and Eurogroup will have the opportunity to place companion animal welfare high on the European political agenda.


Please take action and help us ask the EU Commission to establish EU guidelines for better protection of companion animals. The ISPCA is asking our supporters to take a photo with their pet and share it on social media using the following relevant hashtags: #ispca, #EUCare4MyDog, #EUCare4MyCat, #EUCare4MyDonkey, #EUCare4MyHorse, #EUCare4MyCompanion.


For more information about this campaign, visit

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