Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (981)

Clare Daly

Question:

981. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is satisfied with the standard of regulation in the greyhound industry here. [13591/19]

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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.

Bord na gCon has made significant changes to its legislative framework in recent years in order to address issues in relation to integrity and animal welfare and this legislative framework will be further bolstered when the Greyhound Industry Bill 2018 is enacted this year.

The Greyhound Industry Bill continues to pass through the Houses of the Oireachtas, with the legislation now at Committee Stage in the Dáil. The existing legislation is being amended to improve the governance of Bord na gCon, strengthen regulatory controls in the industry, modernise sanctions and improve integrity with a view to building a reputation for excellence in the sector.

This legislative framework, when passed, will greatly strengthen the existing regulatory framework through the establishment in primary legislation of a statutorily independent sanctioning regime to conduct hearings into alleged breaches of the racing code. The Bill specifically addresses doping, integrity and fair play through a comprehensive range of enabling provisions allowing the board to make regulations to deal with doping control and the conduct of racing.

The future of the Irish greyhound industry is dependent on a strong governance platform and on the industry having the highest standards of integrity and welfare founded on a strong regulatory system.  The provision of a strong legal framework will support the development of the greyhound sector in Ireland and ultimately provide a platform to improve its contribution to the economy and employment.