Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (819)

James Browne


819. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the support of the Irish greyhound industry; if his attention has been drawn to an ongoing report into greyhound tracks here; the position regarding the Greyhound Racing Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45353/19]

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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.

The provisions of the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 improve governance, regulation and control. The future of the sector depends on the adoption of best practice on animal welfare matters by all involved. My Department is conscious of the need for Bord na gCon to improve regulation and control and my officials and I have worked with the sector to introduce new and strengthened regulations in this regard.

The Board of Bord na gCon remains committed to the protection of the integrity of the greyhound industry and promotion of the welfare of greyhounds. With the new legislation in place, together with the maintenance of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund for Bord na gCon at €16.8m for 2020, the industry will have the tools to strengthen and reform.

I am aware that Bord na gCon has commissioned a full analysis of and recommendations on the industry footprint of the future by Indecon Economic Consultants. The publication of the report is expected at the end of November 2019.