Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 726 - Answered on 20 March 2018

Tommy Broughan, TD (Dublin North–East, Independent)

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way in which a dog (details supplied) has been found in China; if he will order the return of this dog; the steps he is taking to protect the export of Irish greyhounds to countries with little or no animal welfare laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Michael Creed (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

I am aware of recent reports on the export of Irish greyhounds to China.

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established in 1958 under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bord na gCon has informed me that it has no control of events outside the jurisdiction of Ireland and has no statutory function regarding the regulation of greyhound exports, it does however continue to advise owners involved in the export of greyhounds to only export to destinations that provide the expected levels of greyhound care and management as defined within Bord na gCon’s Code of Practice.

Bord na gCon treat the matter of greyhound exports very seriously and have been discussing potential solutions through the International Greyhound Welfare Forum which includes groups such as the ISPCA and Dogs Trust.

The movement of all dogs between Member States is currently governed by European legislation. Under EU law, dogs moved to another EU country from Ireland must be accompanied by an EU pet passport, be microchipped, and have a valid rabies vaccination. Premises exporting dogs must be registered with my Department. Before travel, dogs must undergo a clinical examination by an authorised veterinarian, who must verify that the animals show no obvious signs of disease and are fit to be transported. Dogs must also have a health certificate issued by a Department veterinarian. Exporters must comply with EU law on the protection of animals during transport.

The position is that once animal health and welfare certification requirements, and the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 1 of 2005 on the protection of animals during transport, are met, dogs, including greyhounds, may be moved within the EU or exported to a non-EU country.

Information received from my Department's local offices for 2018 indicates that no greyhounds were exported directly from Ireland to China. The main destination for Irish dogs and greyhounds moved abroad continues to be the UK.

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