Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (404)

Denise Mitchell


404. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the organisation that has statutory function regarding the regulation of greyhound exports; the regulations in place in relation to same; his plans to update these regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40979/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The position regarding the export of dogs, including greyhounds, from Ireland is as follows:

The vast majority of dogs that are moved from Ireland go to the UK. Trade within the EU of dogs is governed by EU law. Dogs moved to another EU country must be accompanied by an EU pet passport, be microchipped, and have a valid rabies vaccination.

The premises exporting dogs must be registered with my Department in advance of the export. Before travel, dogs must undergo a clinical examination by an authorised veterinarian, who must verify that the animals show no obvious signs of disease and are fit to be transported. Dogs must also have a health certificate issued by a Department veterinarian. These procedures, including vaccination, ensure that only healthy dogs, over the age of 15 weeks, may be exported. Exporters must also comply with EU law on the protection of animals during transport. The transport of animals by air is also governed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In this context, I am aware that a number of airlines do not transport commercial consignments of greyhounds.

The welfare of greyhounds is regulated by the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

My Department has a close working relationship with animal welfare charities on all aspects of animal welfare. Officials of my Department have met with the welfare members of the International Greyhound Forum, which includes the Dogs Trust, the ISPCA and Bord na gCon, where issues surrounding the export of greyhounds are considered.