Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

14.

Prohibition on abandonment of animals.

14.—(1) A person who has in his or her possession or under his or her control a protected animal shall not abandon the animal and if he or she does abandon the animal he or she is not relieved of responsibility for the animal.

(2) A person who has in his or her possession or under his or her control a protected animal shall not, without reasonable excuse, leave the animal unattended unless he or she makes adequate provision for its welfare.

(3) The considerations to which regard may be had in determining, for the purposes of subsection (2), whether adequate provision has been made may, amongst any other considerations, include—

( a) the kind of animal concerned, its age and state of health,

( b) the length of time for which it is, or has been, left unattended, and

( c) what it reasonably requires by way of—

(i) suitable, wholesome and uncontaminated food, water or other suitable liquid,

(ii) shelter and warmth,

(iii) adequate light and ventilation, and

(iv) adequate exercise.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.

(5) Where a person having possession or control of a protected animal contravenes subsection (1) or (2) and that person is not the owner, then the owner of the animal shall also have committed an offence under subsection (4), unless the owner shows that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be.

(6) In this section abandonment does not include—

( a) release into the wild of an animal—

(i) normally found in a wild state in Ireland, or

(ii) formerly found in a wild state in Ireland, as part of a programme to reintroduce animals of that species,

or

( b) stocking land with game birds,

if the animal, having regard to its type, species, breed and development is able to survive and to fulfil its normal needs.