Greyhound Exports and Traceabilty

20 July 2017

FURTHER RESEARCH INTO greyhound exports has highlighted yet another breach in record-keeping relating to exported Irish greyhounds. Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland is concerned, having discovered that a greyhound exported to Pakistan continues to be registered in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book to breeder/owner Seamus McCloskey – architect of the Limerick greyhound track.

GRAI have previously highlighted Seamus McCloskey with the case of the greyhound ‘Barney Rubble’, who became a stray following his export to Spain in 2015. Spanish rescue, Scooby Medina contacted the Irish Greyhound Board seeking an explanation for the fate of this greyhound but received no response. ‘Barney Rubble’ is still registered as being owned by Seamus McCloskey, despite the IGB acknowledging this instance after GRAI reported it to them in March 2017.

On further research, GRAI have discovered that Seamus McCloskey also continues to be the registered owner of the greyhound ‘Mineola Sprint’, who was exported to Pakistan and re-named ‘Fire Of Mianwali’. This provides further cause for concern about the welfare of Irish greyhounds being exported to countries with well- documented welfare issues, and illustrates once again the failure of registration and traceability procedures to adequately record the international movement of Irish greyhounds in spite of the regulations set out in the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.

In order for greyhound welfare to be accurately monitored and improved in Ireland, it is critical that a central database holding up-to-date details of every coursing and racing greyhound born in Ireland exists, and that this database is updated for each individual greyhound exported abroad. Such a database would give a clearer picture of the fate of the many greyhounds unaccounted for, from the thousands of greyhounds bred in Ireland annually. Traceability within the greyhound industry needs to be a priority and it is vital that welfare legislation breaches such as those highlighted above are swiftly investigated.

Progress continues on the proposed ban on export of greyhounds, a process to which GRAI can further contribute. We are also prepared to work with the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust who will clearly need to expand their operation in order to be able to home more greyhounds – greyhounds who otherwise would have been exported for breeding in the unregulated racing and hunting industries in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Pakistan, and China.

GRAI welcome the publication of the 2016 Dog Control Statistics, published July 2017, showing a further decline in greyhounds destroyed in Irish Dog Pounds. However, GRAI have continued concerns with this decline, as it only further hides the fate of those greyhounds no longer accepted by the Irish Dog Pounds. This area needs urgent attention for the purpose of traceability and transparency.