Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (279)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

279. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the content broadcast in a programme (details supplied) regarding the greyhound sector; if existing welfare legislation and enforcement provisions will be re-examined to ensure they are fit for purpose; the primary and secondary legislation in operation with respect to welfare and sanctioning; and the sanctions involved for breach of provisions and prohibited activities in the legislation. [28601/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The programme referred to by the Deputy contained evidence of practices that are completely unacceptable from an animal welfare perspective. My Department takes any allegations of breaches of animal welfare rules very seriously and will thoroughly investigate and take the necessary enforcement and other action to deal with such offences.

In particular, my Department is engaging in a review of the licensing conditions in knackeries, with regard to practices seen on the programme. All allegations will be fully examined to determine the appropriate actions.

The Greyhound Sector has undergone a series of reforms in recent times, most notable when the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 was signed by the President on the 28th May 2019. The drafting of this legislation strengthens the legal basis for the industry, with a view to fortifying the integrity of the greyhound racing sector and improving provision for greyhound traceability.

My Department has a strong and consistent record regarding the enforcement of animal welfare rules, including the review of 100 years of animal welfare legislation, leading to the enactment of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

A total of 73 successful prosecutions have been taken under the Act since it was brought in, with a further 30 prosecution files currently being processed for welfare abuses.