Consultation on Additional Protection for Service Animals in Northern Ireland

Closed 11 Aug 2021

Opened 17 Jun 2021


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.

What happens next

The responses from this consultation will be collated and analysed. The Department will then consider and publish a summary of responses and introduce legislation for approval by the Assembly.


  • All stakeholders


  • Animal Welfare