Parliamentary Questions March 2022

Parliamentary Questions March 2022

Click on the PQ number below to skip to the Question & Reply below. 

PQ No:10853/22

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 932 of 15 February 2022, if he will provide specific details regarding each of the racing fatalities at tracks in 2021; if any were caused by broken necks and or heart attacks; and if he will provide full details of the post-mortem results and the locations at which the related dogs died. Details Supplied: In the data obtained last year in relation to the first six months of 2021, specific details about racing fatalities included "8th February Mullingar - Greyhound collided with boundary wall - died on impact" and "6 May Limerick - Greyhound collapsed and died after race". Fowarded

PQ No: 12444/22

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds injured and killed at Irish greyhound tracks from 1 January to 31 December 2021; if he will include all deaths and injuries during racing, sales trials, official trials and unofficial trials; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

PQ No:15920/22

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his plans to introduce regulation and a database of stud dogs.

PQ No:15919/22

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of surgical artificial inseminations carried out on greyhounds between 2019 and 2021; and the number of those inseminations that were carried out with sperm straws collected from now deceased stud dogs.

PQ No:12445/22

In a recent PQ raised by Deputy Leddin to Minister McConalogue, as follows: The number of individual greyhound pups born in Ireland during the period 01 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 and during the period 01 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 indicating the breakdown of racing and coursing pups. Also, the number of litters born in those periods. (Ref 12445/22 – March 8th, 2022) …the answer states that 2185 litters were whelped in 2021, of which 6950 were dogs and 7028 bitches. There is no breakdown between racing and coursing dogs. The following is the relevant paragraph from the answer: The Irish Greyhound Stud Book (IGSB) registers details of all thoroughbred greyhounds. The IGSB's definition of a greyhound makes no distinction between those intended for participation in competitions sanctioned by either RCÉ or the ICC. Greyhounds can participate in either or both types of competition as there is no differentiation made based on a greyhound's breeding status. The most recent amendment to the IGSB was to collate the individual number of male and female pups per litter, and this information is now available. However, in the industry-commissioned Preferred Results Report published in 2017, Greyhound Racing Ireland provided a breakdown between racing and coursing litters born for each of the eight years 2009-2015. On 10/01/20, Mr. Barry Coleman, Welfare Officer of GRI stated in an American podcast (Voice of America) that in 2019, 2324 litters were registered with the Irish Coursing Club, of which 300 were intended for coursing. ( https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/121003/greyhounds-make-great-pets-011020 - at 14 minutes, 10 seconds) If the Irish Coursing Club is now saying that a distinction is not made between dogs intended for coursing and those intended for racing this is a change in policy and needs to be brought to the attention of the Minister and reversed. It should be noted that greyhounds bred for coursing and racing are distinctly different in terms of size, agility, and temperament. The new traceability system will only trace dogs who have been registered to race at circa 12-14 months. It will do nothing to track the fate of the thousands of dogs who are born every year but don’t make it on to the track. If we don’t know how many dogs are born every year to race, then we will remain ignorant of the true scale of the destruction of unwanted greyhounds – dogs referred to in the industry as ‘wastage’. The Irish Coursing Club is funded in large part by the registration fees paid by those who race greyhounds. Greyhound Racing Ireland is a semi-state body, funded extensively from the public purse. The number of greyhounds born to race every year is important information for the public. Please request a breakdown of the 2185 litters whelped in 2021 into racing and coursing dogs.

PQ No: 10853/22

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 932 of 15 February 2022, if he will provide specific details regarding each of the racing fatalities at tracks in 2021; if any were caused by broken necks and or heart attacks; and if he will provide full details of the post-mortem results and the locations at which the related dogs died. Details Supplied: In the data obtained last year in relation to the first six months of 2021, specific details about racing fatalities included "8th February Mullingar - Greyhound collided with boundary wall - died on impact" and "6 May Limerick - Greyhound collapsed and died after race". Fowarded

Answer:

In 2021, 1,388 race meetings took place at the 14 RCÉ licenced greyhound stadia nationwide with 15,532 races. There was a total of 91,949 starters at these race meetings, with 351 (0.38%) reported injuries by veterinary surgeons present at each race meeting. There was a total of 151 greyhounds (0.17%) put to sleep or fatally injured during this period. There were 7 racing fatalities in 2021: 8th February - Mullingar - Greyhound collided with boundary wall - Died on impact 19th April – Mullingar – Fell at 1st bend - Died on impact with boundary wall 6th May - Limerick - Greyhound collapsed and died after race - Post mortem indicated cardiac arrest 18th Sept - Shelbourne Park - Fatal injury - Collision at 1st bend – Post mortem indicated broken neck 30th October- Waterford - Collapsed and died after Race - Post Mortem carried out – Diagnosis not reached 3rd December - Newbridge - Collapsed and died after Race - Post Mortem carried out – Diagnosis not reached 5th December - Clonmel - Greyhound Knocked over in race - Fatal spinal injury – Diagnosis certified by track vet To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the details of the incidents and injuries which caused racing fatalities at greyhound tracks in 2021; if post-mortems were carried out on the dead dogs; and if he will consider a ban on greyhound racing given the growing number of injuries and deaths at tracks, including 351 injuries and 154 deaths in 2021. - Paul Murphy Further to the above: In April 2021, Rásaíocht Con Éireann introduced a policy that provided that in the event of the unexplained death of a greyhound, whilst competing or having competed in an event at a licensed stadium, that a detailed post-mortem is carried out in accordance with best practice. The purpose of the newly introduced policy is to establish, where possible, the reason(s) for the sudden unexplained death during or after a race event. In 2021, 4 postmortems examinations were carried out.

PQ No: 12444/22

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds injured and killed at Irish greyhound tracks from 1 January to 31 December 2021; if he will include all deaths and injuries during racing, sales trials, official trials and unofficial trials; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Answer:

In 2021, 1,388 race meetings took place at the 14 RCÉ licenced greyhound stadia nationwide with 15,532 races. There were a total of 91,949 starters at these race meetings, with 351 (0.38%) reported injuries by veterinary surgeons present at each race meeting. There were a total of 151 greyhounds (0.17%) put to sleep or fatally injured during this period. Regarding the details of the incidents and injuries requested, a summary of reported injuries is attached as Appendix 1. The report displays date of injury, track where the injury occurred, nature of injury and veterinary action taken. The names of greyhounds are not disclosed as they constitute personal data (related to greyhound owners) as defined by Article 4 (1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. In April 2021, Rásaíocht Con Éireann introduced a policy that provided that in the event of the unexplained death of a greyhound, whilst competing or having competed in an event at a licensed stadium, that a detailed post-mortem is carried out in accordance with best practice. The purpose of the newly introduced policy is to establish, where possible, the reason(s) for the sudden unexplained death during or after a race event. In 2021, 4 post mortems examinations were carried out. 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. During such track activity 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 Ends

PQ No: 15920/22

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his plans to introduce regulation and a database of stud dogs.

Answer:

The Greyhound Racing Act, SI 15 of 2019 provides a comprehensive revised framework for the drafting of Regulations relating to all aspects of the Greyhound Industry. Part 4 of this Act has specific reference to the area of regulation referred to.

PQ No: 15919/22

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of surgical artificial inseminations carried out on greyhounds between 2019 and 2021; and the number of those inseminations that were carried out with sperm straws collected from now deceased stud dogs.

Answer:

In 2005 the then Irish Greyhound Board introduced regulation specifically governing the practice of Artificial Insemination the Artificial Insemination of Greyhounds Regulations, SI 561 of 2005. These regulations set out in detail the rules governing the practice of artificial insemination and whose remit it is to do so. A copy of these Regulations is attached for ease of reference The Boards Remit in these regulations is chiefly the issue of licences on an annual basis on appropriate recommendation from The Irish Coursing Club, who as you will be aware are Keepers of the Irish Greyhound Stud Book. The legislation covers how and where semen (domestic or imported) may be collected and stored and covers a fart of ancillary regulatory provisions. It is important to note that whilst GRI issue the licences on an annual basis, it is the Irish Coursing Club who have the regulatory responsibility to maintain all relevant records relating to the satisfaction of compliance of the regulations relating to the above headings. In essence they are the operators of the regulatory provisions set out in the Regulations. I am aware that the ICC publish metrics on matings and litters declared on a periodical basis and I attach a copy of such a publication which identifies whether the mating was carried out by Frozen Semen Implant (FSI) or Artificial Insemination (AI). Finally, and just to advise noting the latter part of the PQ, the aforementioned regulations were amended in 2014 by the Artificial Insemination of Greyhounds (Amendment) Regulations SI 494 of 2014, which effectively removed the period of use for semen drawn more than 2 years the death of a Stud.

PQ No: 12445/22

Question:

In a recent PQ raised by Deputy Leddin to Minister McConalogue, as follows: The number of individual greyhound pups born in Ireland during the period 01 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 and during the period 01 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 indicating the breakdown of racing and coursing pups. Also, the number of litters born in those periods. (Ref 12445/22 – March 8th, 2022) …the answer states that 2185 litters were whelped in 2021, of which 6950 were dogs and 7028 bitches. There is no breakdown between racing and coursing dogs. The following is the relevant paragraph from the answer: The Irish Greyhound Stud Book (IGSB) registers details of all thoroughbred greyhounds. The IGSB's definition of a greyhound makes no distinction between those intended for participation in competitions sanctioned by either RCÉ or the ICC. Greyhounds can participate in either or both types of competition as there is no differentiation made based on a greyhound's breeding status. The most recent amendment to the IGSB was to collate the individual number of male and female pups per litter, and this information is now available. However, in the industry-commissioned Preferred Results Report published in 2017, Greyhound Racing Ireland provided a breakdown between racing and coursing litters born for each of the eight years 2009-2015. On 10/01/20, Mr. Barry Coleman, Welfare Officer of GRI stated in an American podcast (Voice of America) that in 2019, 2324 litters were registered with the Irish Coursing Club, of which 300 were intended for coursing. ( https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/121003/greyhounds-make-great-pets-011020 - at 14 minutes, 10 seconds) If the Irish Coursing Club is now saying that a distinction is not made between dogs intended for coursing and those intended for racing this is a change in policy and needs to be brought to the attention of the Minister and reversed. It should be noted that greyhounds bred for coursing and racing are distinctly different in terms of size, agility, and temperament. The new traceability system will only trace dogs who have been registered to race at circa 12-14 months. It will do nothing to track the fate of the thousands of dogs who are born every year but don’t make it on to the track. If we don’t know how many dogs are born every year to race, then we will remain ignorant of the true scale of the destruction of unwanted greyhounds – dogs referred to in the industry as ‘wastage’. The Irish Coursing Club is funded in large part by the registration fees paid by those who race greyhounds. Greyhound Racing Ireland is a semi-state body, funded extensively from the public purse. The number of greyhounds born to race every year is important information for the public. Please request a breakdown of the 2185 litters whelped in 2021 into racing and coursing dogs. .

Answer:

The ICC have provided the following numbers of coursing bred litters in the past to Greyhound Racing Ireland 2015 – 396 litters 2016 – 417 litters 2017 – 417 litters 2018 – 318 litters 2019 – 371 litters 2020 – 198 litters 2021 – 222 litters It should be noted that whist the only condition for either code (coursing or track) from a pedigree perspective is that the greyhound has to be registered by the Irish Coursing Club. Notwithstanding this fact, greyhounds bred to course or track are inherently different from a size and temperament perspective. It is not uncommon however to find coursing bred greyhounds on the track and vice versa. Regarding the traceability data set, it is important to advise, as it seems to have been missed in the below, that all greyhounds raced or trialled at a GRI track are included in the traceability system, in addition to all juvenile greyhounds microchipped from January 2021.