30 May 2016
The recent export of nine greyhounds to Macau, and the failed attempt of a further 24 greyhounds, has highlighted huge concerns of the export of greyhounds from Ireland.
The newly-appointed Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, was recently asked by Paul Murphy TD, for the numbers of exported greyhounds to be detailed. The figures given in the Ministers reply are misleading, and GRAI is disappointed that the details for trade-export of greyhounds from Ireland were not possible to be provided. GRAI has extensively researched this area of the Irish greyhound industry, and the results give alarming concerns. The figures available that could be, and were, given by the Minister do not include greyhounds exported from Ireland for racing/coursing/hunting/breeding to countries such as Spain, Pakistan, and countries in South America – countries where animal welfare/rescue charities are already hugely overwhelmed. GRAI’s research further shows a continued breach of Regulation 10 [Transfer of ownership] of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.
GRAI welcomes, and supports, the recent joint statement of a commitment to prevent the export of further greyhounds to countries where welfare is a huge concern given by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, ISPCA, Dogs Trust, and representatives from the greyhound industry. GRAI echoes the commitment of the ISPCA and Dogs Trust to lobby, and call for, additional statutory measures to be implemented in the prevention of greyhound exports to countries where there is a poor regard for welfare – and where, as our research has shown, greyhounds will suffer alarming abuse. GRAI further welcomes the recent publication of penalties, for 2016, handed out by the greyhound industry for breaches of Regulation 10 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 – and we call for further penalties to be issued, for both recent and retrospective breaches.
GRAI looks forward to export prevention measures to be included, as soon as is practically possible, in the anticipated Greyhound Industry Amendment Bill – along with the welfare concerns submitted by GRAI in November 2015, which were recommended to the Department by the Joint committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine in January 2016.