Parliamentary Questions July 2021

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS JULY 2021

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

PQ No: 34252/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the date of death of a greyhound (details supplied); the number of greyhound pups sired by them since their death; the year of birth of each of these pups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied:  MULTIBET (NEWRY HILL x DRUMMCOOLEY DAME), date of birth 10 June 1999

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 34253/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhound litters born via FSI mating, surgical implantation of female in each of the years from 2010 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 33584/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of workers employed by his Department and in each office or agency under the aegis of his Department that earn less than the living wage of €12.30 per hour; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Sorca Clarke

PQ No: 37243/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds that were injured and died or were killed at tracks from 1 January 2021 to date; the names of the greyhounds; the cause of each injury and death; and the associated dates and track locations.

Joan Collins

PQ No: 38503/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way his Department and public bodies and agencies under his remit are implementing Action 32 of the National Disability and Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (details supplied).

Details Supplied:  Departments and agencies will actively engage people with disabilities through consultative committees and or other appropriate fora’

Holly Cairns

PQ No: 38196/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the engagement he or the agencies under his remit has had with the National Broadband Plan in the past two months. strong>

Sean Sherlock

PQ No: 39394/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds in the national racing pool from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2021; the number of greyhounds injured and killed at Irish greyhound tracks from 1 Jan 2021 to 30 June 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 39395/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the proposed location of the planned second greyhound care centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 39396/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds within the industry awaiting homing on 1 July 2021 for periods of time exceeding six and 12 months, respectively; the protocol that is in place for greyhounds deemed challenging to home; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 39397/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the expenditure on care and welfare of greyhounds for 2020 and to 30 June 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

PQ No: 34252/21 

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the date of death of a greyhound (details supplied); the number of greyhound pups sired by them since their death; the year of birth of each of these pups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied:  MULTIBET (NEWRY HILL x DRUMMCOOLEY DAME), date of birth 10 June 1999

Brian Leddin

Answer: 

RCÉ’s Reply

The Irish Coursing Club as keepers of the Irish Greyhound Stud Book maintain a register for all greyhounds registered with them for the purposes of racing or coursing. The detail included in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book includes stud pedigree, progeny, offspring whelped by dam , and date of whelp. The stud dog in question was additionally a coursing sire. Accordingly, the questions is more appropriately directed to the Irish Coursing Club. We have forwarded your query to the Club with a request that they would respond directly to you.

 ICC’s Reply

The ICC is in receipt of PQs as forwarded by GRI and respond as follows:

No 1: PQ Ref: 34252/21 :To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the date of death of a greyhound (details supplied); the number of greyhound pups sired by them since their death; the year of birth of each of these pups; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied

MULTIBET (NEWRY HILL x DRUMMCOOLEY DAME), date of birth 10 June 1999

Reply:  

Date of death: 2010

Year Born:                      No. of Litters

2011                                1 litter: 02/01/2011 (2 dogs and 1 bitch).

2012                                1 litter: 01/03/2012 (1 dog and 6 bitches).

2015                                1 litter: 14/01/15 (5 dogs and 1 bitch).

2019                                1 litter: 16/05/2019 (2 dogs and 7 bitches).

2021                                1 litter: 01/01/21 (5 dogs and 1 bitch).

  

PQ No: 34253/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhound litters born via FSI mating, surgical implantation of female in each of the years from 2010 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

Answer:

Pursuant to Article 4 of the Artificial Insemination of Greyhounds Regulations SI 561 of 2005, as amended by 494 of 2014, provides that it is the Keeper of the Irish Greyhound Stud Book (The Irish Coursing Club) that maintain the relevant register and records related to the various types of mating for which a premises has been approved under the aforementioned Regulations.

Rásaíocht Con ÉIREANN have never maintained such records nor has there been a need or regulatory requirement to do so. The question is more appropriately directed to the Keeper of the Irish Stud Book.

The relevant regulatory provision is provided below.

(4) The Club shall maintain separate registers recording particulars of -

(a)    approved inseminators, and

(b)    approved centres, including in each case the class for which the centre has been approved, the name and address of the owner, the name and address of the person nominated as the manager responsible for the approved centre pursuant to regulation 7 (7), and the veterinary surgeon appointed to supervise and control operations at the approved centre pursuant to regulation 7 (8).

(2)    Registration of stud sires available for artificial insemination purposes shall be effected in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book. Subject to the provisions of regulation 9 (1) and 10 (1), no stud sire shall be available or used for artificial insemination purposes until he shall have been registered in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book as a stud sire available for artificial insemination purposes.

(3)    Applicants for entry in any of the registers referred to herein shall, on making application to the Club, pay such fee as may be prescribed by the Club, and no such application shall be considered until the prescribed fee is paid. The Club shall be entitled to charge an annual fee of such amount as it may prescribe to maintain the entry in each of the respective registers.

(4)    It shall be the responsibility of the Keeper to maintain to a standard acceptable to the Club all registers and records required by these regulations to be kept by the Club.

(5)    Notifications and materials required by these regulations to be submitted or sent to the Club shall be submitted or sent to the Keeper.

(6)    The Keeper shall enter and record, subject to these regulations, all data which the Club shall direct to be entered in the registers the subject of this regulation 4 in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book.

We have forwarded your query to the Club with a request that they would respond directly to you.

ICC’s Reply

No 2: PQ Ref: 34253/21

2010: 460 litters

2011: 398 litters

2012: 482 litters

2013: 577 litters

2014: 737 litters

2015: 581 litters

2016: 525 litters

2017: 422 litters

2018: 226 litters

2019: 230 litters

2020: 310 litters

 

PQ No: 33584/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of workers employed by his Department and in each office or agency under the aegis of his Department that earn less than the living wage of €12.30 per hour; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Sorca Clarke

Reply:

I refer to your Parliamentary Question reference no PQ 33584/21.

Part-time casual staff engaged by Rásaíocht Con Éireann to provide tote services and employed as part of the Food & Beverage operations across its stadia network would generally be paid the minimum wage which is less than the living wage as set out in your Parliamentary Question.  This employment relates to racing events which on average take place twice a week at most greyhound stadia.  The numbers employed on a casual and part-time basis can vary depending on the time of year but at peak periods some 400 to 500 casual part-time staff could be employed.

I trust this provides the necessary information. 

PQ No: 37243/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds that were injured and died or were killed at tracks from 1 January 2021 to date; the names of the greyhounds; the cause of each injury and death; and the associated dates and track locations.

Joan Collins

Reply:

In relation to the above mentioned PQ, please find attached information as requested.

Image shows attachments to email in reply

PQ No: 38503/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way his Department and public bodies and agencies under his remit are implementing Action 32 of the National Disability and Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (details supplied).

Details Supplied:  Departments and agencies will actively engage people with disabilities through consultative committees and or other appropriate fora’

Holly Cairns

Reply:

Rásaíocht Con Éireann has a variety of structures in place including Greyhound Owners & Breeders Associations and Advisory Councils at RCÉ stadia.  Regular meetings are held of these groupings and any issues regarding access for people with disabilities or other matters are addressed at these meetings.

 

PQ No: 38196/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the engagement he or the agencies under his remit has had with the National Broadband Plan in the past two months. strong>

Sean Sherlock

Reply:

Rásaíocht Con Éireann has had no engagement with the National Broadband Plan in recent months.

 

PQ No:39394/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds in the national racing pool from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2021; the number of greyhounds injured and killed at Irish greyhound tracks from 1 Jan 2021 to 30 June 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

Reply:

I attach herewith schedule setting out the greyhound dog pools for the period 2018 to 2021. Dog pools represent the greyhounds awaiting racing at the particular greyhound track. In relation to injuries, I attach herewith schedule of injuries at tracks for the period 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021.

RCÉ continues to enhance its operations at tracks and improve care and welfare arrangements available particularly from a veterinary perspective to minimise any risk of injuries and to ensure the appropriate care and welfare arrangements are in place in the event that injuries are incurred by racing greyhounds.

 

PQ No:39395/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the proposed location of the planned second greyhound care centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

Reply:

RCÉ has recently completed an open procurement process for the provision of foster care centres.  Five approved foster care centres are now in place and other foster care arrangements are used on a periodic basis having regard for particular circumstances and geographic requirements.

The foster care centres are utilised for the preparation of greyhounds for re-homing outside of Ireland and in relation to greyhounds where RCÉ has formed a view on foot of a welfare inspection that adequate care and welfare arrangements are not in place for the particular greyhounds.

The care centre operated by Rásaíocht Con Éireann in Tipperary is a publicly accessible care centre complete with visitor facilities to enable members of the public engage with retired racing greyhounds and to make arrangements for the acceptance of a greyhound for re-homing.  Given the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 at present and the limited access of the public to facilities generally, RCÉ has not progressed the opening of a second care centre at this time. 

RCÉ is however satisfied that the considerable infrastructure now in place in relation to re-homing has delivered a very significant increase in re-homing of racing greyhounds in recent years.  The table below sets out activity levels from 2019 to 30th June 2021 in respect of re-homings assisted by the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust/RCÉ:

Re-homings Financially Assisted by IRGT

Year

No Greyhounds

2019

974

2020

1,775

2021 (to 30th June 2021)

1,246

 

PQ No:39396/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of greyhounds within the industry awaiting homing on 1 July 2021 for periods of time exceeding six and 12 months, respectively; the protocol that is in place for greyhounds deemed challenging to home; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

Reply:

Considerable progress has been made by RCÉ and its sister entity the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust in the re-homing of racing greyhounds in recent years.  Activity levels are set out in the table below:

Re-homings Financially Assisted by IRGT

Year

No Greyhounds

2019

974

2020

1,775

2021 (to 30th June 2021)

1,246

At this point RCÉ is able to accommodate the re-homing of greyhounds within a short period of time.  The position at 9th July 2021 is as follows:

  • Retired greyhounds added to the re-homing list in June 2021 – 94
  • Retired greyhounds on the re-homing list at 9th July 2021 – 209
  • Retired greyhounds on the re-homing list reserved by re-homing agencies on 9th July 2021 – 67.

In addition, 28 greyhounds have been reserved for international re-homing in September and work is also ongoing to facilitate re-homing of greyhounds with Greyhound Pets of America who have indicated a significant demand for retired greyhounds.  The easing of air travel restrictions in recent months should assist in relation to such rehoming opportunities. 

In relation to the protocol in place for greyhounds deemed challenging to re-home,  situations can occasionally arise on the suitability/unsuitability of greyhounds for re-homing e.g. over-aggression in a greyhound that may pose a serious risk to the well-being of small pets in a home.  While such situations are few, the appropriate veterinary advice, including from the Director of Veterinary Services with RCÉ, is obtained in relation to the management of such situations.

PQ No:39397/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the expenditure on care and welfare of greyhounds for 2020 and to 30 June 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brian Leddin

Reply:

By way of PQ 43378/20 I would have provided you with details of spend on care and welfare to end of November 2020.  An update in relation to 2020a is provided in the table below together with detail of spend in 2021 to date:

NB – Data does not include any spend on staff and ancillary costs associated with regulation, integrity and welfare. Spend on the operation of the National Greyhound Laboratory is also not included.

 

2020

2021 to 30th June 2021

Covid 19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme

€994,178

€0

Veterinary Services

€220,735

€146,339

Fostering

€177,921

€75,818

Care Centre

€28,876

€31,169

International Transportation

€19,319

€0

Greyhound utility ambulances

€23,616

€22,140

Greyhound Injury Support Scheme

€2,086

€338

Improvements in veterinary facilities

€4,948

€6,662

Contributions for private rehoming organisations

€31,817

€14,080

Contributions to Irish Retired Greyhound Trust

€303,435

€187,717

Prizemoney contributions from owners

€73,935

€47,717

Total

€1,880,866

€531,980

RCÉ is committed to continuing to invest in care and welfare initiatives, infrastructure and programmes.  These include the following:

  • The opening of the first Care Centre in Thurles in July 2020 which acts as a half-way house between the end of a racing career and the placing of the greyhound in its ‘forever home’.  The centre allows greyhounds to be socialised and for interested parties to consider the fostering or adoption of a greyhound in such a setting.
  • The implementation of an extensive rehoming programme with 1,775 greyhounds rehomed in 2020 and 1,246 greyhound rehomed in the six month period to 30th June 2021 with assistance from the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, an entity established by RCÉ. 
  • The introduction of a financial incentive for all domestic rehomings to encourage further rehoming in Ireland.
  • The implementation of a Foster-to-adopt Scheme.
  • The operation of an Injuries at Track Financial Support Scheme whereby funding is available to address injuries sustained to racing greyhounds to ensure that they can be retired from greyhound racing.
  • The establishing of a confidential phone line/email through which any welfare issues can be reported on a 24/7 basis. All reports are fully investigated by RCÉ welfare staff.
  • The full utilisation of the Exclusion Order process whereby a party can be excluded from being on a greyhound racing track. 
  • The updating of the Code of Practice for the Care and Welfare of the Greyhound which has been the subject of a public consultation process.  The Code is provided for under Section 6 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.
  • The continuing of an intense testing regime both at race events and through out of competition testing.  The urine sampling regime has been expanded in 2020 to also cover on a periodic basis blood sampling.  Work is also underway in terms of the necessary protocols to implement further enhancements of the testing regime through hair sampling.
  • RCÉ implemented a Covid-19 Care Payment Scheme during the period of suspension of racing activity from March to June 2020.  €998,000 was paid under the scheme to ensure that the welfare needs of the racing greyhound were met during a period when racing activity was suspended.
  • RCÉ also provides veterinary services at all tracks and has a welfare team engaged on a wide ranging and extensive inspections programme.