Consultation on additional protection for service animals in Northern Ireland

Consultation opened on 17 June 2021. Closing date 11 August 2021.


The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is seeking views on the proposal to strengthen protection currently provided to service animals in Northern Ireland under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. We would encourage all those with an interest in this matter to respond to this consultation. The primary method for responses is online via Citizen Space.


Consultation description

Service animals often need to restrain suspects or use their physical presence to support the actions of an officer acting in accordance with his or her duty. There is, however, currently no account taken of the role performed by service animals in the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. The aim of the proposed legislative change is to ensure that the law demonstrates sufficient regard for the vital role that service dogs play in protecting the community in Northern Ireland and that they are provided with the same level of protection as they are afforded elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

The Summary of Responses and Departmental Response can be found here.

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