Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 353 - Answered on 18th July, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent):

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the accounts that greyhounds tested positive for prohibited substances at two live hare coursing events recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) (Cork South-Central, Fine Gael):

The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) is the controlling body for breeding and coursing of greyhounds under Section 26(2) of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958. In that role, it has sole legal authority to control all activities in these areas.

Notwithstanding the above, my Department, in conjunction with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) meet annually with the ICC in the form of a monitoring committee to review and preview any operational issues that arise or are foreseen relating to coursing meetings. Additionally veterinary staff from my Department and staff from the NPWS carry out a number of monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with rules regarding animal welfare and compliance with licences issued by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

As my Department has responsibility for controlling the manufacture, supply and use of animal remedies in order to protect human and animal health and animal welfare, this monitoring committee is a forum where any relevant issues in these areas, as referred to by the Deputy can be discussed.

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