Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (976)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

976. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is engaging at EU level to rectify issues in relation to the fact that the TRACES system used to record the exportation of dogs does not differentiate between greyhounds and other dogs and continued concerns regarding the export of greyhounds to countries with poor welfare standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13460/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

TRACES is the European Commission's online management tool for all sanitary requirements on intra-EU trade and importation of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants.  Its main objective is to digitise the entire sanitary certification process, and it does not distinguish between breeds of dogs and there are no plans to change this. 

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

The welfare of greyhounds is regulated by the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and the Animal Health and Welfare Act of 2013.  The latter applies to all animals, whether kept for commercial, domestic, sport, show or other purposes.  It contains robust measures against the ill-treatment of animals.

The Greyhound Racing Bill 2018, when enacted, will add to existing legislation, making the greyhound the most regulated of all canine breeds in Ireland. The Bill ensures that the principles of good governance and regulation are clearly and unambiguously laid down in primary legislation.  In broad terms the Bill seeks to address deficiencies in the existing legislation and the governance of Bord na gCon.  It will strengthen regulatory controls in the industry, modernise sanctions and improve integrity with a view to building a reputation for exceptional regulation in the sector. 

Bord na gCon is the State Body responsible for the governance, regulation and development of the greyhound industry in Ireland.  It is opposed to exports of greyhounds to countries that do not meet Ireland’s welfare standards which is a view that I fully endorse.