Breach of Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 – Restriction on Breeding

AT LEAST one greyhound entered in the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby 2015 was bred unlawfully. Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland is aware of at least two greyhound mothers who have been overbred, breaching the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 – Article 11 restriction on breeding. Under Article 11 of the Act a greyhound can have a maximum of eight litters – six litters with a further two litters authorised if certified by a veterinary practitioner where the further two litters will not pose a risk to the health or welfare of the greyhound. The Irish Coursing Club, keepers of the Stud Book, are not permitted to enter more than eight litters from a greyhound mother into the Irish Greyhound Stud Book.

The two greyhound mothers that GRAI is aware of gave birth to their ninth litters at the ages of nine and ten years old – clearly illegal but also putting the greyhound mothers lives and health at risk, especially given their ages when giving birth. A written question to Minister Simon Coveney was submitted by Niall Collins TD on 16 July 2015, concerning these unlawful greyhound litters. Minister Simon Coveney was informed by the ICC that they were acting in compliance with Article 11 of the Act, and that the litters in question were registered in the UK stud book – despite being bred and born in Ireland. The ICC further advised that a rule amendment is being prepared to stipulate that greyhounds born in Ireland must be registered in Ireland.

The greyhounds from one litter are currently, and regularly, being raced in Ireland – including one involved in the first round of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby 2015. Greyhounds concerning the other litter have not raced since 2014.

GRAI calls for appropriate action by the Irish Greyhound Board Welfare Officer against the relevant people who breached Article 11 of the Act by allowing their greyhounds to have nine litters, clearly ignoring advisory notifications that should have been given after the sixth and seventh litters, and clearly disregarding the welfare of the greyhounds. GRAI calls on the IGB to make a full and transparent statement on any action taken, and a full and transparent statement from the ICC on the Act amendment status, and further explanation of how circumvention of the current Article 11 of the Act had been sanctioned.

GRAI also calls for the responsible immediate retirement and responsible homing of the greyhounds racing unlawfully. GRAI calls for a statement on the status of the greyhounds bred unlawfully but no longer racing.

A previous breach of regulations concerning breeding – Artificial Insemination of Greyhounds Regulations 2005 – had continued for nine years before amendments were made. Greyhounds bred unlawfully between December 2005 and November 2014 were raced in Ireland – including the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby 2014 – before amendments to the Regulations were made.

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For further information please contact
Richard King
Press Officer for Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland
Email: grai.profficer@gmail.com
Phone: 00 44 7990027294