Powers of Inspectors

An inspector appointed under the legislation has all the powers of a member of An Garda Síochána in the place where he is acting.  He may enter land, buildings, pens or other places where animals are kept where he has reasonable  grounds to suspect

  • that disease exists or has existed within 56 days
  • a carcass of a diseased or suspected animal or bird is kept, destroyed, buried or found
  • any animal, pen, bird, place, vehicle or thing in respect of which may occasion failed to comply with the provisions of regulations made by the Minister or local authority
  • there is a breach of any local authority regulations.

The inspector may enter any pen, vehicle, vessel, boat or aircraft where he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the act or regulation thereunder has not been complied with.  He may inspect the same.  Owners must comply with all reasonable requirements of the inspector and afford all other reasonable facilities. An inspector may be requested and obliged to produce his authority.

Inspectors have powers to detain vessels and aircraft where any Department or local authority order has not been complied with.  The officer detaining the vehicle, vessel or aircraft must deliver a copy of the authority.

The Garda Síochána have powers to execute regulations made by the Department and every local authority.  Where a person if found committing or is reasonably suspected of engaging in committing an offence under the Act, he may be stopped and detained without a warrant.  If he gives a false name or a name suspected to be false, he may be arrested.  A vehicle may be stopped, detained, searched and taken or removed to another place.


  • Any contravention of the act of regulations or orders made under it or by a local authority or
  • failure to comply with an order or regulation made to keep animals and birds separate as far as practicable or
  • give notice of disease with practical speed
  • failure to give, produce, observe, have or do any notice, licence rule or thing which the act requires,
  • omitting anything which is declared to be an offence,
  • obstruction of an inspector or member of An Garda Síochána
  • throwing carcass of any animal or bird which has died of a disease or has been slaughtered as so suspected into water streams, rivers etc. or
  • refusing to give information or
  • wilfully or negligently give false and misleading information

is an offence.


The offence is subject on summary conviction to a fine.  On a further offence in 12 months, it is subject to imprisonment of up to 1 month or fine. There is a range of offences that are subject to summary conviction to a fine and imprisonment of up to two months on first conviction.  This includes

  • most intentional breaches of the act
  • false or counterfeit marking or alterations in any documents declarations or certificate
  • false declarations for the purpose of licence a that issues
  • a false certificate or instrument fraud or pretends in obtaining compensation

A person convicted of an offence under the act is not entitled to compensation in relation to poultry animals, carcasses, or eggs concerned.

The Minister may make ex-gratia payments in lieu of compensation if an entitlement to compensation does not apply.

Powers of Officers

Authorised officers have powers to examine animals, fodder, litter, vehicles, vessels etc.  They may seize and detain the same.   They may require the production of documents or things relating to animals etc.  They may retain any such document as is necessary.

They may give directions or request information of persons regarding animals, products, feeds, litters, vessels, and may require the name and address of any other relevant person including the person to whom the animal is being delivered or who is causing it to be delivered.  It may require of the person, the ownership identity and origin of the animal or poultry product, fodder or litter.

Offences in relation to obstructing or failing to cooperate with an authorised inspector are subject to summary conviction to fines up to €1,830 or six months imprisonment or on indictment of €127,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment.

Forfeiture and Disqualification

On conviction on indictment under the act, the court may order the forfeiture to the Minister of any land, premise, vehicle, aircraft, container, involved in the commission of the offence.  Any person having an interest in it may apply to be heard by the court and given the opportunity to show why such an order should not be made.

The person convicted on indictment may be disqualified from keeping or dealing or having charge of any animal or class of animal and be disqualified from working in or having charge or control of any one of the following; Slaughter, manufacture, preparation, handling, storage, transport, exportation, distribution or sale of any food for human or animal consumption for such a period as may be specified.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *