28th February 2010
RE: The Greyhound Industry and the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2010Please note the following facts and recommendations in relation to the current situation for Greyhounds in Kennels. The Greyhound Industry imply that they are recognised ‘as being already compliant with standards that are in fact higher than those included in this Bill as part of the Greyhound Industry Act (1958)….’ We deny this claim due to the gross animal violations inherent in the Greyhound industry, dogs being abandoned, drugged,mutilated, drowned, injured at tracks and killed when of no further use in racing.
The Greyhound Industry are also part of ongoing Gardai investigations into both the Dundalk ‘ringer’ incident [Mays hurry on boy], also the Irish Coursing Club financial investigation.
RETIRED GREYHOUND WELFARE FUND.
In March 2009 The Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Federation held a committee meeting in Nenagh. The then Chairman Mr. Ger Duncan informed the meeting that the IGB had informed him that they would give financial help to Kilkenny track which was closed at the time. Mr Duncan told the meeting that the IGB would provide €10,000 for sand from the retired greyhound trust fund. Duncan tried to sell the committee that there was a large sum of money left over in the fund. Duncan informed the meeting that the IGB wanted to use the money for other uses than retired greyhounds. The IGB had informed him if the money wasn’t used the tax man would take it. The now General Manger of Tralee argued strongly for the IGB to get their way. The IGB wanted the money in the fund and wanted the IGOBF to ratify it at the meeting which was convened especially for this matter to be approved.
The uses were as follows.1 Renovation to the Kennels in Cork.2 A bowser for Longford.3. Sand for Kilkenny
Some of the delegates took exception to the IGB using money which had been taken from the owner’s prize money fund for other activities. The fact is, the RGT [retired greyhound trust] is a registered charity. A war of words followed at the meeting which ran late into the night. Out of the nine delegates present only two voted against the money being used without the consent of the Owners.
After the meeting it was let slip that money had already been used with €20,000 paid to Skillnets (a private enterprise ) prior to the meeting. The IGB agreed to pay back the money but nobody knows what’s in the fund and what it is being used for.
A source at the meeting has said ‘Should the IGB have full control over this fund as they do not tender for any services with a “jobs for the boys” attitude alive and well here.
Should 3% of Owners be given to people who do not tender for their services to the retired greyhound trust. Is this a case for the competition authority?.Is all the money accounted for ?
CONVICTED DRUG OFFENCE TRAINERS STILL TRAINING AND RUNNING GREYHOUNDS.
Many UK and Irish trainers prosecuted in the UK for administering drugs to raced dogs are still operating in Ireland. In fact its business as usual with some of these people being honoured guests at dog tracks for special nights. Some of these trainers are in fact banned in the UK and can operate here with the approval of Bord na gCon. Some of these convicted trainer’s dogs will be in the running for prizes at the upcoming Greyhound Awards next week. Also the ‘ringer’ dog incident will hopefully be fully investigated by Gardai.
In the UK ,the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations were recently debated and passed by delegated legislation committees of both the House of Commons and House of Lords. The GBGB welfare manager Peter Laurie commented: “The regulations were passed as expected and with cross-party support. Our focus now turns to ensuring the sport is fully compliant ahead of the April 5 deadline.” The requirement for all greyhounds to be microchipped, earmarked and registered before their first trial or race on an independent or GBGB track was well supported, including by Conservative Shadow Minister Richard Benyon who indicated that his party “would like to see microchipping spread more widely across the dog world.”
We stress the need for accountability in the Irish greyhound industry due to the high incidence of greyhound abandonment. These ‘slow’ dogs are being found both dead and alive minus their ear tattoos. Microchipping will bring the Industry in line with the UK requirements.
NB. It is vital before Microchipping, that a scanner is used to ascertain if the dog already has a microchip in place.
Thoroughbred horses are all DNA profiled in conjunction with being microchipped and registered/licenced.
Irish Greyhound Kennels are merely inspected by control stewards for licensing purposes only and not for welfare purposes.
We understand that only stud dogs are DNA profiled. When dogs go to stud, before registration they do DNA profiling. Brood females are not DNA profiled [contrary to information circulating in Seanad discussions]
REGISTRATION AND CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP.
In a statement issued by the IGB , Chairman Dick O’Sullivan says: “Today’s debate has highlighted the existing registration of all greyhound matings, litters, naming and transfer of ownership as well as the marking and DNA profiling. There is no question that the proper regulations being introduced to end practices of ‘puppy farming’ are to be welcomed. It is important though that the Greyhound industry is recognised as being already compliant with standards that are in fact higher than those included in this Bill as part of the Greyhound Industry Act (1958)….
Please note that the Greyhound Industry Act 1958 does not set out any welfare provisions for dogs in Kennels. Also please note that on abandoning a dog the TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP form is rarely completed . The dog ‘escaped’ or I gave it to Mr X is readily accepted as satisfactory accountability.
NO RECORD IS REQUIRED WHEN A DOG IS KILLED.
INJURIES IN COURSING AND RACING DOGS.
No statistics are available on the numbers of injuries occurring in coursed or raced dogs.
Greyhounds in kennels should have vaccination certificates, due to most dogs being ‘home’ vaccinated these injections were not formally recorded. Many greyhounds being surrendered to pounds or rescues do not have any vaccination certificates.
Please see www.greyhoundaction.org.uk for more on this Industry. Consider the situation regarding these dogs and realise our case for stating that no exemptions for greyhound kennels in this upcoming bill should be granted.