Parliamentary Questions May 2021

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS MAY 2021

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

PQ No: 24174/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the reason an apparently uninjured greyhound was put to sleep at Youghal track in October 2020 (details supplied).

Details Supplied:  Background information: Statistics provided by GRI show that in October 2020, 1 greyhound suffered an injury at Youghal track but 2 greyhounds were put to sleep that month.

Joan Collins

PQ No: 24173/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the cost of investigating and testing a greyhound for the presence of prohibited substances; the reason the fines imposed on owners of greyhounds that test positive do not at least cover these costs; and if any owners of greyhounds that tested positive have been banned from involvement in racing.

Joan Collins.

PQ No: 24169/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the reason Greyhound Racing Ireland is continuing to present as rehomed or rehomed as pet greyhounds that have in fact been sold abroad for racing or breeding (details supplied); if there are penalties in place for those that accept a greyhound for rehoming but sell the dog on; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied:  Background Information: Greyhounds 'EXPRESS TIBERUS', 'AIRFIELD HARRY' and 'HEADLEYS KENNY' are listed as rehomed on GRI website but they are actually in Spain, being used for racing or at stud]

Joan Collins.

PQ No: 24167/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way Greyhound Racing Ireland defines rehome in the context of its rehoming statistics; if greyhounds must be spayed or neutered before rehoming to prevent breeding; the checks that are carried out on potential new owners and homes; and if there is a requirement that those accepting greyhounds for rehoming must agree not to give or sell them on to third parties in Ireland or abroad.

Joan Collins

PQ No: 24174/21 

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the reason an apparently uninjured greyhound was put to sleep at Youghal track in October 2020 (details supplied).

Details Supplied:  Background information: Statistics provided by GRI show that in October 2020, 1 greyhound suffered an injury at Youghal track but 2 greyhounds were put to sleep that month.

Joan Collins

Answer:

Dear Deputy

Please see below our response to the above mentioned PQ.

Rásaíocht Con Éireann can confirm that in October 2020 one greyhound was injured while racing at Youghal Greyhound Stadium and only one greyhound was euthanized by the attending veterinary surgeon in that month.  An incorrect figure of two greyhounds having been euthanized at the Youghal Greyhound Stadium in October 2020 was inadvertently used within the previously published racing injury statistics for 2020. Rásaíocht Con Éireann will now amend this report to show the correct figure.  Rásaíocht Con Éireann can confirm that the greyhound which was euthanized under the care of a veterinary surgeon in October 2020 injured a shoulder and the injury occurred on 28th October 2020.

PQ No: 24173/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the cost of investigating and testing a greyhound for the presence of prohibited substances; the reason the fines imposed on owners of greyhounds that test positive do not at least cover these costs; and if any owners of greyhounds that tested positive have been banned from involvement in racing.

Joan Collins.

Answer:

Dear Deputy

Please see our response below to the above mentioned PQ.

The laboratory analysis of samples obtained from greyhounds is an integral part of integrity and welfare programs within Rásaíocht Con Éireann. The National Greyhound Laboratory of Rásaíocht Con Éireann, located at Greenpark Limerick is accredited by INAB and operates to the international standard of ISO 17025. The National Greyhound Laboratory analysed 4,251 samples in 2020, despite track closure and movement restrictions for a considerable period of the year. The Laboratory’s operating costs in 2020 were €418,692. In analysing individual costs it is important to note that not all samples are the same, as a key integrity function, some samples are analysed quicker and easier and others involve more investigative analysis before being declared negative. As an indicator the cost per sample processed in 2020 was €98 which compares more than favourably with the cost of analysis on a commercial basis.

In managing this key integrity function of the industry, Rásaíocht Con Éireann purchased a “state of the art” Waters TQXS triple quadrupole liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer (LCMS) analytical system in 2017 for its laboratory in Limerick. It is the top of the range within its class and will allow for the detection of substances at very low levels in the samples taken from greyhounds. The machine also allows for an increase in the spectrum of drugs which can be targeted in each analytical run on individual samples taken from greyhounds. Further investment in procuring a replacement GCMS laboratory machine at the National Greyhound Laboratory is being undertaken in 2021.

The level of investment in this key area of integrity proves to be a significant deterrent the use of prohibited substances within the industry as indicated by the number of adverse analytical findings returned from samples analysed.

Year

Samples

Adverse Findings

% Adverse Findings

2016

       5195

               47

              0.90%

2017

       5294

               29

              0.55%

2018

       5288

               22

              0.42%

2019

       5702

               15

              0.26%

2020

       4251

               11

              0.26%

The Greyhound Industry (Racing) Regulations, SI 396 of 2015, provide for the mandatory referral of positive samples to the independent Control Committee and for the mandatory publication of laboratory adverse analytical findings on the website of Rásaíocht Con Éireann to include

  • That there has been an adverse analytical finding
  • The name of the prohibited substance
  • The name and identification number of the greyhound concerned
  • The names of the registered owner and the licenced trainer at the time of the taking of such sample, and
  • The date upon which and the place at which the said sample was taken.

As an independent Committee, it is the Control Committee that determines the outcome of cases referred to it by Rásaíocht Con Éireann and having heard the circumstances of each case, including relevant laboratory analysis, make their decision on the matter. Details of the decisions of the Control Committee are published on the website of Rásaíocht Con Éireann at https://www.grireland.ie/Resource/reports-and-statistics/control-committee/. The Committees must also operate within the legislative provisions regarding maximum fines.

In the year 2020, 4 individuals from within the industry were issued with Exclusion Orders by Rásaíocht Con Éireann relating to the discovery and seizure of Unauthorised Animal Remedies at various premises.

PQ No: 24169/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the reason Greyhound Racing Ireland is continuing to present as rehomed or rehomed as pet greyhounds that have in fact been sold abroad for racing or breeding (details supplied); if there are penalties in place for those that accept a greyhound for rehoming but sell the dog on; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied:  Background Information: Greyhounds 'EXPRESS TIBERUS', 'AIRFIELD HARRY' and 'HEADLEYS KENNY' are listed as rehomed on GRI website but they are actually in Spain, being used for racing or at stud]

Joan Collins.

Reply:

Dear Deputy

Please see below our response to the above mentioned PQ.

The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) is the body authorised in statute for the registration of greyhound ownerships, transfers and are keepers of the Irish Greyhound Stud Book.  In order for a greyhound to be eligible to race at a race track it is a requirement that the greyhound is duly registered with the ICC. Information appearing on Rásaíocht Con Éireann’s website reflects data held by the ICC at a point in time.  Direct data transfer is undertaken by the ICC to RCÉ on a very frequent basis. 

Under Section 10 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 a person who sells/transfers ownership/purchases a greyhound is required to notify the Irish Coursing Club of the sale/transfer/purchase of the greyhound within 14 days of the sale/transfer/purchase of the greyhound. In the event that breaches of Section 10 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011, by the seller or purchaser, are identified by Rásaíocht Con Éireann and the offence was committed within the previous 12 months then Welfare Officers will issue a fixed payment notice. 

The Welfare of Greyhounds Act, 2011, is confined to residents within the State and does not apply to persons outside the jurisdiction of Irish State who purchase greyhounds from Ireland.  

PQ No: 24167/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way Greyhound Racing Ireland defines rehome in the context of its rehoming statistics; if greyhounds must be spayed or neutered before rehoming to prevent breeding; the checks that are carried out on potential new owners and homes; and if there is a requirement that those accepting greyhounds for rehoming must agree not to give or sell them on to third parties in Ireland or abroad.

Joan Collins

Reply:

Dear Deputy

Please see below our response to the above mentioned PQ.

Greyhounds that are rehomed through the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) or through IRGT assisted Irish rehoming organisations are defined as rehomed and are part of the rehoming statistics.

All greyhounds rehomed through the IRGT must be spayed or neutered prior to rehoming.

It is necessary for all potential Irish adopters to complete an adoption application and undergo a home check prior to adoption. An adoption application asks for details about your home, your vet, plans in place when on holidays etc. This form also requires new adopters to answer and agree with the following questions “Do you commit to keeping your adopted greyhound solely as a companion/pet”; “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?”. A home check will also be carried out by an RCÉ Welfare Officer or a Homecheck Officer. During Covid restrictions, these checks are being carried out virtually where potential adopters send a video of their home to an RCÉ Welfare Officer.

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