Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (559)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

559. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding allocated to the greyhound sector to date in 2019; the amount allocated to animal welfare; the administrative process for issuing and revoking certificates by his Department on exporting greyhounds out of this jurisdiction; the number of certificates issued annually to EU countries and non-EU countries for such exports in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and the EU regulations that apply to such exports including animal welfare provisions. [29861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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 funding paid to Bord na gCon to date this year is €14.7m.

My Department has a close working relationship with animal welfare charities and provides financial support to a number of animal welfare organisations through its ex-gratia animal welfare funding. My Department provided funding of €2,751,000 to animal welfare groups in 2018. The process of awarding funding to animal welfare charities for this year is underway.

The Department’s animal welfare funding is in addition to the €100,000 that Bord na gCon makes directly to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust. This funding is matched by a 2% contribution of winning owner’s prizemoney, which in itself derives from the Horse & Greyhound Fund. In 2018, the total income of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust was €242,000. Bord na gCon’s overall spend on regulation and welfare matters will be just short of €2 million in 2019.

With regards to the export of greyhounds, under Council Directive 92/65/EEC (the “Balai” Directive), dogs moved commercially to another EU country from Ireland must be accompanied by an EU pet passport, be microchipped and have a valid rabies vaccination. Also, under the Balai Directive, premises exporting dogs must be registered with the Department in advance of the export. Before travel, dogs must undergo a clinical examination by an authorised veterinarian, who must verify that the dogs show no obvious signs of disease and are fit to be transported. Dogs must also have a health certificate issued by a Department veterinarian. These procedures, including vaccination, ensure that only healthy dogs, over the age of 15 weeks, are allowed to be exported.

Exporters are also required to comply with the provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1 of 2005 on the protection of animals during transport.

My Department only issues health certs for export once all the criteria outlined above have been met. For this reason, in general health certificates are not revoked, as they would not have been issued if all requirements were not fulfilled.

It is not possible to establish exact figures for greyhound exports to other EU countries, 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. The figures for commercial movements of dogs from Ireland to other European Member States for the years 2014 to date are in the table below.

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019: YTD

3,316

10,847

12,103

12,898

10,322

5,193

Information received from my Department’s Regional Veterinary Offices indicate the following commercial movements of greyhound to third countries from 2016-2019.

2016

2017

2018

2019: YTD

China - 9

Chile - 1

Argentina - 1

Australia - 1

Argentina - 11

South Africa - 2

South Africa - 1