An unprecedented surge in the numbers of kittens arriving at Irish shelters is putting the country at risk of a crisis, the Government has warned.
Key points:An estimated 7,000 of the new arrivals are expected to arrive in Ireland this weekKittens will arrive from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the United StatesAn Irish rescue group says the situation is ‘extremely dire’The rescue group, called Kitty Breeder Ireland, said it had received “almost 100,000” kittens from the UK and that around half of them have already been released.
However, the Irish government has said it will be “extremely difficult” for Irish shelters to cope with the surge in demand, with shelters facing financial pressure.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Government minister Simon Coveney said that an estimated 7-8,000 kittens were arriving in Ireland in the first four weeks of 2017.
He said: “There are almost 100,067 kittens currently being taken into Ireland, and I would urge all the Irish public to get to know them.”
There are around 100,001 people in Ireland and the vast majority of those are coming from the US.
“A number of these kittens are from the USA and we will continue to see more of these babies from the States, but they are coming into Ireland and we need to know that this is a very significant problem.”
Kitty Breeder said it was “extremely concerned” about the influx of kittens in Ireland.
Kitty breeder Fiona Murphy told the Irish Times: “We have seen a significant rise in demand from the U.K., Germany, the UK, Italy, and the U,S.
to the extent that we are seeing a significant number of kittens being imported from those areas.”
We are receiving almost 100% of the kittens that are coming to us, which is extremely worrying, especially given the current situation.
“It is a significant amount of kittens coming from those countries and we are very concerned about the number of those kittens that will arrive in the country.”
Ms Murphy said it took three months to get a kitten from Ireland to the UK where it was then taken to an animal welfare facility in Bristol.
She said the U-turn by the Government, which said the numbers were too low, was a sign of desperation and an indication that the rescue group was not doing enough to protect its kittens.
“This is a problem that is extremely dire.
This is a crisis we are not dealing with on a regular basis,” Ms Murphy said.”
Kittens are being taken in from Britain, Germany and Italy to be taken into the Republic of Ireland from the next four weeksMs Murphy also said that the number coming into the country is “far below” the target of 100,0001 kittens. “
The Government of Ireland is not doing the right thing by this situation.”
Kittens are being taken in from Britain, Germany and Italy to be taken into the Republic of Ireland from the next four weeksMs Murphy also said that the number coming into the country is “far below” the target of 100,0001 kittens.
She said it could take weeks for the new arrival to reach the Republic.
“I would be concerned if we are really only going to receive 10,000, so we are actually taking more than we have been prepared for,” she said.
Ms Murphy added that Ireland was facing a crisis of “massive proportions” and said that people in the rescue movement “can no longer keep up with the numbers”.
She said: “”We need to keep up the pressure, we need people to know what we are up against, what we can’t do, and we must be vigilant.
“A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture said the number had been “far above” the 90,000 target and the Department was continuing to support the rescue effort.
He added: “It is clear that the UK is a breeding ground for the problem, and there are concerns that a large proportion of the cats coming into our country are from that country.”
Our advice to all visitors is to keep an eye out for new arrivals, and to report any cats that you suspect are from outside of Ireland.”