Wildlife protection bill left in “never never land” says Galway TD

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Galway TD Eamon Ó Cuív has said that the a bill meant to expand the list of protected animals in Ireland has been left in “never never land” since the election.

Pressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Cuív said that, despite passing its first Dáil and Seanad stages, the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been left in limbo.

He said that this bill had already come back to the Dáil with Seanad amendments, before the “general election intervened”, and no progress has been made since.

“I note that the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill is on the list of other Bills, that is, the Bills in never-never land,” Eamon Ó Cuív said.

“Will the Taoiseach explain why this Bill, which has already been passed by the Dáil and the Seanad and was just awaiting a few amendments to be cleared by the Dáil, is not on the priority list and does not get reintroduced and quickly become law?”

The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2021 would add the Basking Shark to the schedule of protected animals.

This would make it a criminal offence to intentionally kill or injure basking sharks in Irish water.

The bill was the result of a review of national heritage areas, which was carried out in 2014.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he would consult with the Minister and get back to Deputy Ó Cuív, adding that the government has taken “very significant initiative” on wildlife matters.

“We are very anxious about the protection of biodiversity, which is central to this,” Micheál Martin said.

He added that the country needs to “get a grip” on protecting biodiversity and the climate change agenda, which Ireland must contribute to.