Dublin West TD, Ruth Coppinger (Anti Austerity Alliance) has this week renewed calls on the government to “introduce a ban on the export of greyhounds to China”, stressing that “that is really the only safeguard that animal welfare organisations are willing to accept.”
She condemned animal welfare standards in China and read out a description of the infamous Canidrome track in Macua to which unfortunate Irish greyhounds were sent earlier this year – “The track is old and narrow, the length of the track isn’t good for animals. So many accidents happen. They kill the dogs [30 per month] and they need more to replace them.”
“I don’t think anyone in Ireland would support the idea that we would just allow greyhounds be exported there,” Deputy Coppinger added.
Responding, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle, claimed that the trade of Irish greyhounds to Macau “has ceased”.
When pressed on this, he added: “The export ceased because none of the airlines – let’s be honest – agreed to carry [greyhounds]. If the department here tried to just ban exports to Macau, they would end up going there indirectly through another jurisdiction if that was the desired will of the people who wanted to engage in the export…If there isn’t a mode of transport, they won’t be going.”
Asked about a rumoured change in legislation to prevent the export of greyhounds to countries with poor animal welfare standards, Deputy Doyle replied to say that “there is a draft being prepared for pre-legislative scrutiny – a new bill essentially which we are trying to get into the committee for the Autumn session so it can be enacted as soon as possible.” No further details were given on this.