Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Questions (149)

Clare Daly

Question:

149. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the various methods used to euthanise injured greyhounds at tracks; if greyhounds with treatable injuries are euthanised; and his views on the number of greyhounds injured and killed at tracks (details supplied). [25772/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial State Body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.

Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

I have made enquiries with Bord na gCon on your behalf and have been informed that where a greyhound is seriously injured at a racetrack and a decision is made that the animal should be put to sleep, the duty veterinary surgeon euthanises the greyhound by the intravenous administration of a lethal injection.

Greyhounds injured during racing are examined at the track by the veterinarian on duty. Invariably the vet advises the owner/trainer on the treatment options be it with the intention of the dog returning to fitness for racing or in the case of more serious injuries that the greyhound will be kept as a pet by the owner or rehomed through an agency. However, where injuries are of a very serious nature, and in the interest of the long term welfare of the animal, the veterinary surgeon with the owner's permission will decide to euthanise the greyhound.

In the period between July 2014 to the end of December 2017 there were over 336,000 starters at the Bord na gCon controlled tracks in Ireland. As with any sport where speed is a major element, injuries do occur. The numbers injured in this period averaged at 0.45% of starters. Bord na gCon endeavours to minimise the risk of injury to racing greyhounds and is proactive in ensuring that best practice in track maintenance is followed, with inspections by Bord na gCon racing/maintenance and project manager overseeing the work of local track groundsmen.