Control of Dogs Act 1986



1.In this Act—

damage” includes death or injury to any person (including any disease caused to a person or any impairment of his physical or mental condition) and includes injury to, or total or partial destruction of, property;

dispose of” means to sell or to give away;

dog” includes a bitch of any age or a dog of any age;

dog licence” means a licence entitling a person to keep a dog;

dog warden” means a person employed under section 15 of this Act to be a dog warden for the purposes of this Act;

F1[general dog licence means a licence entitling a person to keep an unspecified number of dogs at a premises specified in the licence, one premises only being so specified;]

greyhound” includes any whippet and any strain or cross of greyhound or whippet;

licence” includes, as the context may require, a dog licence and a general dog licence;

livestock” means cattle, sheep, swine, horses and all other equine animals, poultry, goats and deer not in the wild state;

F2[local authority means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended by the Local Government Reform Act 2014); and references to the functional area of a local authority shall be construed accordingly and local authority shall, as the context may require, include any other person with whom a local authority has entered into an arrangement pursuant to section 15 of this Act;]

the Minister” means the Minister for the Environment;

occupier” includes a person who owns and occupies, as well as a person who occupies only, any premises and in relation to any land includes a person who is in possession of land under a letting in conacre or for the purposes of agistment or for temporary depasturage;

owner” in relation to a dog includes the occupier of any premises where the dog is kept or permitted to live or remain at any particular time unless such occupier proves to the contrary: Provided always that where there is more than one dwelling in any house, the occupier of the dwelling in which the dog is kept, or is permitted to live or remain, shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to be the owner;

person in charge of livestock” includes the occupier of any land on which the livestock are kept, or the owner of the livestock, or any member of the family of such occupier or owner, or any person authorised to take charge of the livestock by any of them;

poultry” means domestic fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea-fowls, pigeons and peafowl and includes, whilst in captivity, pheasants, partridges, grouse and quail;

premises” includes any house or land;

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

public place” means any street, road, seashore, park, land, field or other place to which the public have access, whether by right or by permission, and whether subject to or free of charge;

sterilise” means to render permanently incapable of breeding;

stray dog” has the meaning assigned to it by section 11 of this Act;

Superintendent of the Garda Síochána” means the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the area in which a dog is, is found, or is shot;

veterinary surgeon” means any person who is lawfully qualified to practise veterinary surgery in the State;

worry” in relation to livestock, means to attack or kill or to chase livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause the death of or injury or suffering to the livestock or to result in financial loss to the owner of the livestock.




Substituted (1.02.1999) by Control of Dogs (Amendment) Act 1992 (13/1992), s. 2(1), S.I. No. 443 of 1998, subject to transitional provision in subs. (4).


Substituted (1.06.2014) by Local Government Reform Act 2014 (1/2014), s. 5(8) and sch. 2 part 6, S.I. 214 of 2014.

Editorial Notes:


Previous affecting provision: definition of local authority amended (1.01.1994) by Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 (31/1993), s. 4(1) and sch. 1, S.I. No. 400 of 1993; substituted as per F-note above.