Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (996)

Maureen O'Sullivan


996. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider publishing yearly lists outlining the number of greyhounds exported and the countries they were exported to; his views on whether this would be a welcome step for transparency in view of the concerns of welfare groups and past reports of Irish greyhounds being exported to countries with no animal welfare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13951/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

It is not possible to establish exact figures for greyhound exports, as TRACES, the European Commission's online management tool for all sanitary requirements on intra-EU trade and importation of animals, does not distinguish between breeds of dogs moved commercially. I can confirm that the vast majority of dogs that are moved from Ireland go to the UK,

The Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 obliges Bord na gCon to publish a code of practice for the welfare of greyhounds. The primary objective of the code is to set standards and clearly define what is expected of all individuals engaged in the care and management of registered greyhounds. Currently the code gives guidance on a range of areas including general welfare principles, animal husbandry, animal health and use of animal remedies. The Board proposes to expand the existing code to include provisions with regard to best practice when exporting greyhounds. This will include information and guidance on preparation for export, transportation arrangements and advising the exporter on the need to research the proposed export destination to establish the prevailing animal welfare code and legislation. Bord na gCon encourages and promotes the export of greyhounds only to countries that have established a positive animal welfare code and practices which is a view that I fully endorse.