Parliamentary Questions December 2021

Parliamentary Questions December 2021

PQ60465/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the new range of activities Greyhound Racing Ireland is planning to cover as part of its’ new serious injury scheme due to be introduced in early 2022.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

The new scheme will see treatment covered for all career ending injuries for greyhounds registered on the traceability system, where the injury occurs while racing or participating in official or unofficial Trials at RCÉ Licensed stadia. Claims most be supported by a paid invoice from a Veterinary practitioner. The greyhound must then be placed on the IRGT rehoming list following recovery from injury in the event that the greyhound is not being retained by the current owner. The maximum contribution would remain unchanged from the current Injury at track scheme at €1,000 per application.

 

PQ60468/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if a full breakdown will be provided of all injuries and fatalities sustained by greyhounds at race events since 2019, in tabular form; the person or body that collects that data at race events (details supplied).

Details Supplied: According to Greyhound Racing Ireland Control stewards and racing managers collect the identity of greyhounds, identity of owners/ trainers, weight of greyhounds, trial performance of greyhounds but not the injuries or fatalities.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

Please see injury report attached as appendix 1 regarding racing & trial injuries.

 

Information regarding race injuries is obtained from the attending track veterinary surgeon on a race night and then submitted to Rásaíocht Con Éireann.

 

Since 1st November 2021, Racing Managers are also reporting injuries sustained at trial sessions. This information is recorded by authorised staff present during a particular unofficial or official trial session and reported to RCÉ.

 

PQ60469/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he will request that a veterinarian be present at all official and unofficial trials to ensure that injured greyhounds are treated without delay and that all injuries and or fatalities can be recorded for public record.

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

It is not a current policy of Rásaíocht Con Éireann that a veterinarian be present at all official and unofficial trials, however, all greyhound tracks display the contact details of the nearest Veterinary Surgery to be used in the event of an injury occurring to a greyhound whilst trialling, so that the greyhound can receive timely acute veterinary care.

 

PQ60470/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the information that is collected at unofficial trials by the staff of an organisation (details supplied).

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

From 1st November 2021 the following information is collected by Racing Managers/Authorised Staff at greyhound stadia.

 

1.            Location of Stadium & Date of Injury

3.            Owner or Trainer of greyhound

4.            Official or Unofficial Trial Session

5.            Name of greyhound

6.            Prevailing Weather Conditions

7.            Was owner provided contact details of nearest Veterinary Clinic

8.            Location of Injury

9.            Brief description of injury

10.         Was injury witnessed

11.         How was injury reported

 

PQ60265/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the percentage and number of greyhounds that are rehomed following their referral to foster care centres on an annual basis; if there is a limit on the length of time a retired greyhound can stay in a foster care centre; the percentage and number of greyhounds that are not rehomed following their referral to foster care centres on an annual basis; and the actions taken in relation to those animals.

 

- Martin Browne.

 

Response

 

In 2021, to date, 587 greyhounds have been rehomed through Rásaíocht Con Eireann’s Foster Care Centres and as at 15th December 2021, care is being provided for 88 greyhounds which are awaiting rehoming at the Foster Care Centres.

Every greyhound is unique, and greyhounds come in all shapes and sizes with different temperaments and characteristics. Rásaíocht Con Éireann understands that some greyhounds need more time at the Foster Centres than others and for this reason there is no limit on the length of time which a retired greyhound can stay at a Foster Care Centre. It can be difficult at times to rehome greyhounds which have a nervous disposition or which are not compatible with other domestic pets, however, at the Foster Centres the greyhounds are introduced to many new experiences which over time may see a nervous greyhounds become accepting of strangers or greyhounds with a high prey drive become accepting of small dogs or cats.

 

In 2021, 8 greyhounds (out of a total of approx. 700 greyhounds which entered Rásaíocht Con Eireann’s Foster Care Centres were not rehomed having entered the Foster Care Centres:

 

4 of these greyhounds were deemed aggressive toward humans/other greyhounds and considered not suitable for rehoming as domestic pets. These four greyhounds were euthanised at a veterinary practice.

Unfortunately, 2 greyhounds died while under anaesthetic at veterinary practices when being neutered/spayed prior to rehoming.

1 greyhound which was extremely nervous and considered too nervous for rehoming was euthanised at a veterinary practice

1 greyhound had serious medical issues that deemed the greyhound not suitable for rehoming . this greyhound was euthanized at a veterinary practice

 

PQ60266/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the reason for the referral of retired greyhounds to foster care centres; and if so, the statistics based upon these figures.

 

- Martin Browne.

 

Response

 

Since January 2021, 683 greyhounds have entered Foster Care Centres with 587 of these greyhounds now rehomed.

 

Foster Care Centre’s are utilised to help provide the necessary care and welfare for retired greyhounds that are awaiting transportation to their forever homes in the UK, U.S. and other jurisdictions. Foster Care Centres are also used where RCÉ forms the view that the care and welfare of greyhounds in a person’s control is not to the required standard.

 

The Foster Care Centres help to prepare greyhounds for their new homes and ensure that the greyhounds and the new family are a good match. Greyhounds are socialized with people, children and other animals e.g. other dog breeds, cats etc. Operators of the Foster Care Centres also provide good quality photos, videos and profiles of greyhounds which are essential to aid the promotion of greyhounds for rehoming. Operators of Foster Care Centres also assist with the transportation of these greyhounds to their new homes when owners are unable to do so i.e. transport greyhounds to veterinary practices for pre-rehoming procedures and health checks and/or transport the greyhounds to the designated transporter or transport collection points for onward journeys.

 

Members of the public may also visit the Foster Care Centres to view greyhounds which are available for rehoming – through the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust – prior to the potential adopters making a final decision on greyhound adoption.

 

PQ60267/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if the welfare of retired greyhounds is monitored following their rehoming subsequent to spending time in foster care centres; and if a trust (details supplied) has received complaints regarding the persons responsible for adopting such greyhounds.

 

Details Supplied: Irish Retired Greyhound Trust

 

- Martin Browne.

 

Response

 

If a Greyhound is rehomed in Ireland, prior to adoption, it is necessary for all potential Irish adopters to complete an adoption application and undergo a home check. The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust also keep in touch with adopters to ensure that both the dog and family are getting on well. This form also requires new adopters to answer and agree with the following question “Do you understand and agree with the fact that if you were unable to keep the greyhound, the IRGT would have to be notified immediately in order to make alternative arrangements for your greyhound”.

 

Our Welfare Officers are authorised under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and as such may inspect greyhounds which are under a person’s care and have the powers to carry out unannounced welfare inspections at any premises where welfare officers believe greyhounds are being kept. This includes those greyhounds in the care of new adopters. The IRGT have not received any complaints in relation to Irish adopters.

 

When rehoming abroad, the IRGT only rehome through other reputable and established rehoming organisations who carry out relevant checks on potential adopters. The IRGT do not rehome to private individuals abroad.

 

Further information is available from www.grireland.ie.

 

PQ61836/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if the recently purchased greyhound utility vehicles are available for use at official and unofficial trials; and if they will be available at all racetracks.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

The Utility Vehicles in question are known as Greyhound Ambulances. They were purchased as part of a pilot project in early 2021. There are currently greyhound ambulances at the RCÉ tracks in Limerick, Youghal, Tralee, Shelbourne Park, Galway and there is an additional vehicle, which pre-dates these in Curraheen Park Cork. The purpose of these vehicles is to facilitate the transfer of the injured greyhound from the track to the veterinary room for treatment. The ambulances are available for use on race nights, and both official & unofficial trial sessions.

 

PQ61837/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of death certificates submitted to the welfare department of Rásaíocht Con Éireann since the new code of practice for the care and welfare of greyhounds came into force.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

Since the new Code of Practice for the Care and Welfare of Greyhounds came into effect on the 15th November 2021, RCÉ has received three death certificates. The Code of Practice is now available on RCÉ’s website www.grireland.ie/Resource/greyhound-welfare/code-of-practice/ , is currently being circulated to:

a.            all RCÉ Licenced Trainers in the Republic of Ireland,

b.            all ICC Licenced Trainers in Northern Ireland, and,

c.            all active Greyhound Owners.

 

The RCÉ Traceability System (RCÉTS) which was launched in January 2021 will see further development in phase 2 which is planned for 2022. Among other additional functionality the requirement for a death certificates to be uploaded onto RCÉTS when owners/trainers are providing a notification on the death of a greyhound will added.

 

PQ61839/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the detail of the regulatory changes that took effect in February 2021 regarding the manner in which novice greyhounds are seeded.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

By way of background, regulatory amendments to the Greyhound Industry Racing Regulations 2007 – 2017 were introduced in February 2021. These regulations, the Greyhound Industry (Racing) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 – 2021, Statutory Instrument 10 of 2021, may be viewed on the GRI Website at https://www.grireland.ie/globalassets/rescource-centre/documents/secondary-legislation/si-no-10-of-2021.pdf

 

The effect of these regulations is to amend the Greyhound Industry (Racing) Regulations 2007 to 2017 so as to provide that:

the number of rounds in an event with eliminating rounds where a seeding category can be changed is three or more. Seeding categories may be amended after the first round but may not be altered thereafter.

 

greyhounds registered in the same ownership or in the same partnership which are entered for an event with eliminating heats, will not be guarded at any stage of the event.

 

I attach (appendix 1), the relevant Regulatory Notice that was published in January 2021 regarding this matter which sets out the pre regulation consultation process that was undertaken by GRI at the time and the reason. The regulatory changes necessitated a change in the Trap draw Procedure and I attach (appendix 2) the revised procedure which took effect in February 2021. Both of these information documents were published on the GRI website

 

PQ61840/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if information on the traceability system RCÉTS is publicly accessible; if not, the reason; and the number of owners and keepers that have failed to update the status of their greyhound on the RCÉTS since January 2021.

 

- Eoin Ó Broin.

 

Response

 

Information on the Traceability System RCÉTS is not publicly accessible as it contains a significant amount of personal information. Metrics are reviewed on an ongoing basis in relation to activity associated with RCÉTS. High level information from the traceability system will be published once the system has been in operation for 12 months and will be regularly published thereafter. This information will include but not limited to:

 

Total number of greyhounds subject to traceability

Greyhounds born or microchipped. 

Greyhounds in RCÉ's existing racing pools.

Greyhounds exported

Greyhounds rehomed

Greyhounds deceased.

 

Currently we are aware of 4 Trainers and 107 owners who have failed to update the status of their greyhound on RCÉTS and RCÉ/GRI are currently refusing to accept race entries from these owners and trainers until an update on the status of the greyhound is provided on RCÉTS.

 

PQ No: 62803/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of racing greyhounds microchipped annually between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Holly Cairns

 

Response

 

All racing greyhounds must be microchipped in line with the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015. There are a number of authorised microchipping databases for dogs namely, Micro Dog operated by ICC, Animark, Fido and the Irish Kennel Club. A large portion of racing greyhounds would be microchipped by the ICC (Micro Dog) and only added to the race management system on commencement of racing activity.

The Rásaíocht Con Éireann launched its new Traceability System (RCÉTS) in January 2021. Greyhounds registered on the RCÉTS are tracked through all stages of life, including birth/microchipping, registration, racing career, changes of ownership/trainer, location, export, retirement, and end of life. 

 

Information from the traceability system will be published once the system has been in operation for 12 months and will be regularly published thereafter. This information will include but not limited to:

-              Total number of greyhounds subject to traceability

-              Greyhounds born or microchipped. 

-              Greyhounds in RCÉ's existing racing pools.

-              Greyhounds exported

-              Greyhounds rehomed

-              Greyhounds deceased.

 

The number microchipped greyhounds registered on the RCÉTS after whelping for the period January 2021 to the 31st November 2021 is 8,480.

 

PQ No: 62804/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds registered on the race management system annually between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Holly Cairns

 

Response

 

The number of greyhounds registered in Race Management System (RMS) for the period Dec 2020 to Nov 2021 was 10,475.  These greyhounds are streamed from the ICC racing database and include:

  1. All coursing greyhounds.
  2. All greyhounds arriving from the UK to race in Ireland.
  3. All greyhounds regardless of whether they have been sold/exported to the UK before their racing carers begin.

 

PQ No: 62805/21

 

Question

 

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of recorded injuries and deaths of greyhounds that have occurred at greyhound racing stadiums and events organised by the Irish Greyhound Board between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021, in tabular form.

- Holly Cairns

 

Response

 

 

Total Number

Injuries

 

Greyhounds P.T.S/Fatalities

Period

Runners

Number

% of Runners

Number

% of Runners

1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021

92,191

352

0.38%

146

0.16%

 

Further information is available from www.grireland.ie.