Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) 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. RCÉ is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The RCÉ Strategic Plan contains a medium term objective for the creation of a stud book for racing greyhounds. However legislation provides for the Irish Coursing Club to be the Keeper of the Irish Stud Book for all greyhounds. The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) has been the keeper for the Irish Greyhound Stud Book since 1923 and this remains the current situation.
RCÉ receives exchequer funding on an annual basis as provided for under Section 12 of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 (the Fund). Ordinarily and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, funding for RCÉ is also sourced by admission fees, income from stadia bar and restaurants, and turnover charge on on-course bookmaker betting.
Income is used to promote greyhound welfare and to administer and regulate the industry.
The 2021 RCÉ Budget includes an allocation from the Fund of €19.2M, an increase of €2.4M on 2020. The priority areas of activity for 2021 include:
- Implementation of the remaining sections of the Greyhound Racing Act 2019
- Ongoing operation of the new traceability system for racing greyhounds underpinned by statutory regulation
The new RCÉ Traceability System (RCÉTS) is now fully operational and will provide traceability in respect of all microchipped racing greyhounds from 1st January 2021 together with all active greyhounds in the Racing Management System. It will record life events of the racing greyhound such as death, sale (including next party details) export (including destination country) retirement as a pet, retention for racing, loss or theft.