Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (381)

Niall Collins


381. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the actions he plans to take following the recent revelations of animal cruelty in a programme (details supplied) into the greyhound industry. [28825/19]

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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.

My Department takes any allegations of breaches of animal welfare rules very seriously and will thoroughly investigate and take the necessary enforcement actions to deal with such offences.

It is worth noting that the greyhound sector has undergone a series of reforms in recent times and the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 was signed by the President on the 28th May 2019. 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 and welfare.

In recent days, Bord na gCon has published the first steps of their Action Plan to strengthen the traceability, re-homing and welfare standards by improved regulation, more inspections and the use of greater resources in these areas. Minister of State Andrew Doyle will be meeting with the Board of Bord na gCon this week to discuss these issues and other measures that may be required to bring about comprehensive change in the sector. In addition, I will press for the swift implementation of their action plan, with a view to identifying what further tangible measures are required to address the issues of serious public concern raised in this Programme.