Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland response to the Bord na gCon Consultation on Proposed Regulatory Reform – Phase 2

7th September 2015

THE IRISH Greyhound Board state they recognise the importance of the highest standards of integrity, and transparency – in their Phase 2 Consultation on Proposed Regulatory Reform.

There are continued breaches of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011, and GRAI is disappointed at the lacklustre willingness from authorities to address such breaches, and uphold integrity and transparency – especially after the 2014 report by Indecon, on the serious failures of the IGB.

599773_4095234100634_550976691_nGRAI recently highlighted breaches of Breeding Restrictions of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 – continued unlawful breeding of 2 greyhounds, in particular, aged 9 and 10 years old, and their pups going on to race throughout 2014 and 2015 – at least 1 of the pups racing in 2 rounds of the 2015 Irish greyhound derby.

However, below are the responses from GRAI to questions in the current IGB Consultation on Proposed Regulatory Reform:

Duty to keep record of medication

GRAI welcome the proposed new Regulation for a duty to keep records of all medication given to greyhounds, and purchasing traceability of medications.

GRAI would like to add to the example list of minimum information with a duty to record the traceability of any left-over medication.

550626_4095320022782_2114572570_nKennelhand Licence

GRAI feels a formal process of appointment for a Kennelhand is a positive move for greyhound welfare.

GRAI would welcome that Kennelhands are licenced in their own right – not just nominated by a licenced party I.e trainer/owner. Such a licence should show that the Kennelhand has a good knowledge and understanding of greyhounds, greyhound health, and greyhound welfare. Application of such a licence should also ask if they have been subject to any criminal convictions, and/or any disciplinary actions, if previously employed within the greyhound racing/coursing industry – just as the Public and Private Trainers Licence applications ask of any previous subjects of disciplinary actions.

Use of mobile phones/electronic apparatus

GRAI see mobile phone restrictions in areas of the stadia and while parading to be introduced to the Racing Regulations as a retrograde step for greyhound welfare – and could open a door for opportunistic welfare breaches.

In an age where photographic and/or video evidence is used to aid convictions in animal welfare cases, GRAI feel that the IGB should be open to a means of similar evidence being presented, and used, to aid any disciplinary action brought by the Control Committee.