Plans for £50 dog licence dropped

Plans to increase the price of a dog licence ten-fold have been changed following protests from dog owners.

In Northern Ireland, owners are required to have an annual dog licence, which is currently priced at £5. The Department of Agriculture last week stated they planned to increase this to £50 per year when they met at the assembly’s agriculture committee.

Michelle Gildernew is the minister responsible for dog control legislation and following opposition from dog owners nationwide, she said she now plans to change this to a £12.50 licence, which is still a sizeable increase.

Those dog owners over the age of 65 will be able to apply for a free licence, which is a new proposal. Those on means tested benefits will also be able to have a concession and if they are on low incomes, they will remain on the current fee of £5.

Those dog owners with neutered dogs will also be entitled to apply for a dog licence at £5 per year.

Next month, the plans will go out to public consultation.