Urge RTE to remove greyhound racing from its “sports” coverage

27 Oct

RTE Television is being urged to remove greyhound racing from its “sports” coverage. In September, the channel featured greyhound racing (2017 Greyhound Derby final from Shelbourne Park), despite ongoing revelations about cruelty, drugging and killing of dogs.

Last year, RTE’s Head of Sport, Ryle Nugent, stated: “RTE Sport is delighted to continue our support of Irish greyhound racing. Irish greyhound racing coverage continues to be important for us and represents part of our public service broadcasting remit. We look forward to bringing the public all the thrills and spills of the 2016 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby.”

More and more of this public is rejecting greyhound racing – evident in a major 50 per cent fall in track attendance and a 58 per cent drop in sponsorship. It is time for RTE to follow suit.

It is particularly inappropriate for RTE to include greyhound racing in its “sports” coverage, given the fact that the channel has been to the forefront in exposing the animal cruelty inherent in the Irish greyhound industry. During the year, RTE programmes including Prime Time, Drivetime and Claire Byrne Live have exposed the appalling killing, dumping and doping of greyhounds.

ACTION ALERT

Urge RTE to permanently cancel its coverage of greyhound racing.

Tel: +353 (0)1 208 3111
Email: info@rte.ie
Comment on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ExploreRTE/
Tweet: @RTE @RTE2 @RyleNugentRTE Please drop greyhound racing from your “sports” coverage

Advertisements

Another season of suffering for hares as Minister issues 2017-18 coursing licence

4 Oct

Shame on Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service for issuing licences for a 2017-18 hare coursing season.

The licences allow bloodsports clubs to net thousands of hares from the wild for use as live bait for greyhounds to chase at 87 coursing meetings around Ireland over a 29 week period from 11th August 2017 to 28th February 2018 (6 months and 17 days). See the licences at https://www.scribd.com/document/357205333

In licensing this animal cruelty, the Minister and NPWS have ignored appeals from Ireland and around.

All the hares will suffer the fear and stress of being removed from their habitats, transported in boxes, kept in captivity for months and forced to run for their lives in front of dogs. Hares caught and mauled by the dogs will suffer broken bones or other painful injuries. Some will die on the coursing fields while others will later be euthanised due to the severity of their injuries. Hares who survive the ordeal are at risk of later dying from stress-related capture myopathy.

It is to Ireland’s great shame that hare coursing is permitted to continue with the blessing of the government. Their lack of compassion and refusal to stop a bloodsport that is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions condemns thousands of timid hares to another season of suffering.

See video filmed by ICABS last season exposing the cruelty of coursing. Our footage shows hares being hit and mauled at coursing meetings around Ireland. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRkXOvbUPNNg1KdCXIhJwE_YQELz8SOX0

ACTION ALERT

Contact Minister Heather Humphreys now and urge her to revoke these shameful licences.

Heather Humphreys, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare St, Dublin 2
Email: Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG

 

Tell the National Parks and Wildlife Service to stop facilitating animal cruelty and refuse any further licences to the Irish Coursing Club.

Gerry Leckey
Wildlife Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 888 3289
Email: wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie,Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie

 

The Irish Hare is a protected species but an exemption for coursing in the Animal Health and Welfare Act means coursers are not liable for prosecution for their cruelty. Join us in our call to the government to remove the exemption and provide full and permanent protection to this cherished species.

Contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and An Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald and ask them to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/

An Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald
Department Of Justice
51 St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 1 602-8202 or +353 1 457 7712
Email: frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
Tweet to: @FitzgeraldFrncs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frances-Fitzgerald/302584593224671

Express your support for a ban on hare coursing. Sign and share the petitions

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing
https://www.change.org/p/ireland-ban-cruel-hare-coursing

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing
https://www.change.org/p/minister-heather-humphreys-stop-licensing-cruel-hare-coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland
https://www.change.org/petitions/ban-blood-sports-in-ireland

 

Dail debate on animal welfare – Tuesday 3rd October

1 Oct

22089015_1444743668974520_7273993659167384370_n

A debate on animal welfare is scheduled to take place in Dail Eireann this Tuesday, 3rd October from 8pm to 10pm.

The Private Members Motion by Independents 4 Change TDs Maureen O’Sullivan, Clare Daly, Tommy Broughan, Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly, Thomas Pringle and Mick Wallace will highlight the “increasing number of incidents and reports of animal mis-treatment, cruelty and abuse” which stems from “neglect, poor regulations, lack of enforcement of current legislation, inadequate legislation and lack of sanctions for those responsible for these acts of cruelty”.

TDs speaking during the debate will tell the government that “cruelty to animals is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”

If you would like to be present in the public gallery to watch this important debate, please request a pass from your local TD. Telephone Dail Eireann 01-6183000 and ask to be put through to your local TD’s office.

Find the names and contact details for TDs at http://beta.oireachtas.ie/en/members/tds/

Hotels urged to stop promoting greyhound racing

6 Sep

Please join us in urging these hotels to stop promoting greyhound racing. The greyhound industry is inherently cruel with dogs injured, mutilated, dumped, drugged and killed.

Ask Riverside Park Hotel & Leisure Club in Enniscorthy to stop promoting greyhound racing as a “great night for the whole family” http://www.riversideparkhotel.com/greyhound-racing-stadium.html
Tel: +353 (0)53 9237800
Email: info@riversideparkhotel.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RiversideParkHotel/
Tweet to @TheRiverside

The Absolute Hotel in Limerick is encouraging visitors to support greyhound racing, describing it as “adrenaline pumped entertainment”. Please ask the hotel to remove greyhound racing from its website http://www.absolutehotel.com/limerick-greyhound-stadium.html
T: +353 61 463600
Email: info@absolutehotel.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AbsoluteHotelLimerick
Tweet to @AbsoluteHotelGM

Appeal to the Mullingar Park Hotel to stop recommending greyhound racing in the “Things to Do” section of its website http://www.mullingarparkhotel.com/greyhound-racing.html
Tel (044) 933 7500
Email info@mullingarparkhotel.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mullingarparkhotel/
Tweet to @mullingarpark

Urge Dublin’s North Star Hotel to exclude greyhound racing from its list of tourist attractions. The hotel is telling visitors that they are “guaranteed a great night” if they visit a local greyhound track http://www.northstarhotel.ie/greyhound-racing-dublin.html
Tel +35318363136
Email: Ereservations@northstarhotel.ie
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NorthStarHotelPremierClubSuites
Tweet to @northstar_hotel

On its website, Limerick’s The George hotel is promoting greyhound racing as “a great night out” http://www.georgelimerick.com/limerick-greyhound-racing-hotels.html Please contact the hotel now and tell them about the cruelty and killing in the greyhound industry.
Tel: +353 61 460400
Email: info@georgelimerick.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/George.Boutique.Hotel
Tweet to @GeorgeBoutique1

Contact Dublin’s Skylon Hotel and ask them to stop promoting greyhound racing as “something fun that all the family can enjoy” http://www.dublinskylonhotel.com/greyhound-racing.html
Tel: +353 (0)1 884 3900
Email:reservations@dublinskylonhotel.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DublinSkylonHotel/
Tweet to @skylondublin

For more information, please read our leaflet “Six reasons to say NO to greyhound racing” http://www.banbloodsports.com/ln170616.htm

Country music singer Jimmy Buckley is a greyhound breeder and coursing sponsor

14 Jul

zzz18879883_1327975527318002_2649450206975293281_o

Country music singer Jimmy Buckley is a greyhound breeder who is “fighting to keep the sport that he loves alive”. A Sunday World newspaper report – which includes a photo of a greyhound chained onto a treadmill and another of Buckley holding the head of a mother greyhound as she suckles her puppies – quotes him as saying: “When you have a new litter, I look at them and say, I wonder are any of you champions?”

Buckley is also shamefully involved in cruel hare coursing. In a past interview he said: “I always loved coursing. Been following it for many years. Something you can never get away from, thankfully. It’s a great escape from the music business.” He is also a sponsor of the cruel bloodsport – see https://banbloodsports.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/three-amigos-singer-sponsors-cruel-hare-coursing/

SUNDAY WORLD REPORT

Bord na Gone?
Passion: Jimmy is fighting to keep the sport that he loves alive
Country star Buckley slams greyhound chiefs for letting the industry go to the dogs.
Sunday World, May 7th 2017

Country music star Jimmy Buckley is being mobbed in a field outside the rural town of Athenry, Co. Galway.

As one of Ireland’s top entertainers, Buckley is used to the attention of excited fans at his gigs.

The singer is also familiar with the frenzy that erupts when we enter his land in Montpelier.

Jimmy’s voice breaks the silence around the idyllic, quiet townland and suddenly a sea of little heads pop up from the grass and race towards him.

Within seconds, the showbiz star is engulfed by a pack of young greyhounds.

Buckley is in his element as he grapples with them. Away from the glitz and glamour of showbusiness, breeding and racing greyhounds is Jimmy’s passion.

BREEDERS

Today, Jimmy talks about his background in the greyhound scene, at a time when the owners and breeders are at war with the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) over their decision to sell Harold’s Cross Stadium in Dublin.

Harold’s Cross is being offloaded to help tackle the IGB’s debit of more than €20 million, linked to the building of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

Like owners and breeders around the country, Buckley is furious over the decision and has frequently joined the picket line in protest.

Tipperary TD Alan Kelly is backing their campaign and has been highly critical of the semi-state Irish Greyhound Board (Bord na gCon).

There are 19 greyhound stadiums around Ireland – including two in the North – of which 10 are operated by the IGB.

Kelly said this week that the greyhound industry “has been run into the ground.”

“I have lost confidence in the board. I also believe it’s an industry worth fighting for. The people who are in this industry are just ordinary people from every corner of Ireland and I think they are being treated very shabbily at the moment.”

Shelbourne Park has also been shut down for weeks after being picketed by the Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association over the IGB’s sale of Harold’s Cross.

“This industry is up in arms. I’ve never seen anything like it from an industry. This industry is very united. I saw that in the Horse & Jockey in Thurles a few weeks ago…700 people on a Sunday evening travelled there to express their views,” Kelly said.

Nobody understands the passion of greyhound enthusiasts more than country icon Buckley.

“When greyhounds get in your blood they are a lovely thing to be at,” Jimmy tells the Sunday World.

PRESSURES

“They’re just a lovely animal. For me, given the pressures that go with life in the music business, if there was a blood pressure monitor on me here, I guarantee you my reading would be normal. When I’m around my dogs for an hour, everything goes away. That’s really the solace I get from it.”

Jimmy comes from a family in Doon, Co. Limerick, that is steeped in the greyhound business. His brother Pat is one of the top greyhound trainers in the country.

“Pat has won everything you could possibly win with greyhounds,” Jimmy says. “He won the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Sweepstake Final at Limerick Greyhound Stadium in March with Bentekes Bocko. It was sponsored by JP and Noreen McManus and was worth €80,000.”

Looking back on his childhood, Buckley says: “We were reared on greyhounds. My dad got us into greyhounds at a very young age. As a youngster I used to love going to the races. Going to the sales in Dublin was also a big thing. It was like going to Florida for kids today.”

As a breeder today, Jimmy has made a significant investment in the facilities for his greyhounds. His centre at Montpelier in the Galway countryside is like an upmarket hotel for the dogs, with an indoor heated exercise pool, a treadmill, shower and grooming parlour. Outside, the greyhounds have fields to roam free in and gallops for exercise and training.

“I’ll never see the money back that I’ve invested here, I know that,” Jimmy says as he shows me around. “But I’m not in it for the money. I’m in it for the fact that I love the sport, and I’d love to see greyhound racing progressing.”

Buckley, of course, lives in hope that he’ll hit the jackpot. In his kennels, Jimmy shows me a new litter of pups suckling their mother.

“When you have a new litter, I look at them and say, I wonder are any of you champions?” he says.

RICH

“You look at the pups and you know what the father has done, the sire could have been a Derby winner and the dam, the mother, could have won races and you’re saying, ‘I wonder will they be like her?’…that’s the dream.

“It’s like the Lotto as everyone, rich or poor, can do it. The biggest man in the game to the smallest can produce a Derby winner.”

Jimmy says he’s sad to see the demise of the Irish greyhound industry in recent years.

“There is a lack of communication between the Greyhound Board and the grassroots. The IGB is not doing enough to promote the sport,” he says.

“There needs to be more accountability for people running the industry.

“The board members get their salaries without having to meet targets. The prize money has dropped, attendances at racing are down and it’s the domino effect.

“What’s happening at the top is impacting all the way down.

“The people on the greyhound board should be looking out for the people on the ground. After being reared with greyhounds I feel the baton has been passed on and we need to keep the flag flying for greyhound enthusiasts.”

DOG RACING BUSINESS IS OFF TRACK
By Eddie Rowley

The Irish greyhound racing industry has had a dramatic decline in fortunes over the last ten years.

In 2007, Bord na gCon, the Irish Greyhound Board, had a turnover of €65 million.

Today, it has dropped to under €30 million, a 56 percent reduction.

Back in 2006, the greyhound industry was outperforming horse racing at slightly over €50 million.

However, by 2015, horse racing had grown to nearly €80 million, while the greyhounds continued to see declines in revenue.

The IGB closed Harold’s Cross Stadium in February of this year as it struggled with a €21 million debt to AIB, linked to the construction of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

A Comptroller and Auditor General report on the development of the Limerick Greyhound Stadium found that Bord na gCon’s borrowings has increased from approximately €11m in 2007 to twice that in 2014.

A total of €21m was spent on the Limerick Stadium at Greenpark, which was completed in October 2010.

ABANDONED

The development was green-lit without a capital project appraisal, an evaluation that assesses whether investments are justified on economic grounds and is required under government guidelines.

The report also documents how Bord na gCon purchased a site for the new stadium at Meelick in April 2005, at a cost of €1.02m, with further expenditure of €935,000, before deciding on building the stadium elsewhere.

Plans to build the stadium at the site in Meelick were abandoned after it became apparent that direct access from the site to the adjacent national road would not be allowed – a key risk that was identified in the consultants’ report prior to purchasing the site that was never presented to the board.

Deputy Alan Kelly of Labour said there was a “moral hazard” in selling Harold’s Cross Stadium and giving the funds to a board “which has seen the industry absolutely collapse over the last number of years and in debt of over €20 million because of bad decision making.”

“Particularly unacceptable” remark from greyhound board chairman

14 Jul
The chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board has been forced to apologise after being told that a flippant reference to wife beating is “particularly unacceptable”.
 
The offensive statement came during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee last month when the IGB chairman, Phil Meaney, was being pressed for an answer on whether or not he considered it a loss that the greyhound board’s former CEO, Geraldine Larkin, resigned in December.
 
“Was she a loss? Would you have preferred her to stay?” asked Labour Party TD Alan Kelly. “It’s not a trick question. Just a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.”
IGB chairman Phil Meaney remarked: “It’s a question like ‘Do you still beat your wife?'”
 
As colleagues of Mr Meaney smiled and laughed, Deputy Kelly stated: “No, it’s not”.
 
Later in the meeting, Galway West politician Catherine Connolly TD (Independent) denounced the comment.
 
She said: “Mr Meaney, I hate to go back on this but your comment in relation to ‘are you still beating your wife?’…I know we say comments – and I’ve been known myself – but it’s particularly unacceptable.”
 
“I unreservedly withdraw it…I felt it was a difficult question, but I unreservedly withdraw the remark and apologise,” the IGB chairman replied.
 
ACTION ALERT
 
Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the cruel greyhound industry). If you know anyone who is considering holding an office party, hen party or fundraiser at a greyhound track, please encourage them to choose a different venue.
 
Contact the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and all your local TDs and demand an end to the funding of the greyhound industry.
 
Email “No more funding for cruel greyhound industry” to michael.creed@oir.ie, leo.varadkar@oir.ie, frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
 
Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses
 
Please sign and share our petition
 
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
 
Transcript
 
Phil Meaney: Geraldine [Larkin] came in in 2014. We had regulatory problems and legal problems – lots of problems – and her skill sets, we felt, were ideal for where we were. A lot of progress was made over the next couple of years. Deputy Burke referred to the board not being freshened up. That actually is not true. Two new board members came on – those two gentlemen – so the board was freshened up.
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): Was she a loss, in your opinion? Were you disappointed that she was leaving?
 
Phil Meaney: She was very good when she was there but the focus now is changing. The debt had to be dealt with. The turning point was that we decided we would advertise the position, as was part of the contract. We just wanted to see what was out there in the context that we hope we are a bit further down the road now with the sale of Harold’s Cross. We were becoming very focused—–
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): Was she a loss? Would you have preferred her to stay? It’s not a trick question. Just a “Yes” or “No” answer.
 
Phil Meaney: It’s a question like “Do you still beat your wife?”
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): No, it is not.
 
 
Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent): Mr Meaney, I hate to go back on this but your comment in relation to “are you still beating your wife?”…I know we say comments – and I’ve been known myself – but it’s particularly unacceptable.
 
Phil Meaney: I unreservedly withdraw it.
 
Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent): Okay.
 
Phil Meaney: Just Let me explain. The question as I interpreted it was – and my colleague, Frank, answered it well and I was not quick enough on my feet. Dr. Brady was beside me. He has come in and he’s done a good job. Geraldine, I felt, did a good job. I felt it was a difficult question, but I unreservedly withdraw the remark and apologise to the Chairman.
 
See full transcript of meeeting at

Greyhound exports to Pakistan and China raised in Dail Eireann

14 Jul

 

Tommy Broughan TD (Dublin Bay North, Independent) has questioned the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture about the export of Irish greyhounds to Pakistan “where the animal welfare regime is deplorable”.
Deputy Broughan challenged a previous statement by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed that there were no “direct” exports of greyhounds from Ireland to Pakistan. He pointed to “a lot of evidence in relation to persistent reports of exports to Pakistan”. Responding on behalf of Minister Creed, the Minister of State Andrew Doyle repeated Michael Creed’s “no greyhounds have been exported directly” line, clearly sidestepping the issue of indirect exports.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has supplied Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture with a list of 200+ Irish-born greyhound who have sadly ended up in Pakistan. They have also been made aware of evidence showing more Irish greyhounds now in China. Our appeal to the Minister to urgently act to save greyhounds from export has been shamefully ignored, despite evidence of obscene animal cruelty in these countries being highlighted.
A big thank you to Tommy Broughan TD for all his efforts to try and help what he described as these “beautiful, intelligent animals”.
Watch the video to see the full exchange or scroll down for a transcript.
ACTION ALERT
 
Sign + Share the petition – Stop the Export of Irish Greyhounds to Pakistan
Join us in urging Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to act NOW to stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Pakistan and China.
Email “Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Pakistan and China” to leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to: @creedcnw
Exports of Irish greyhounds
Dáil Éireann Debate – 22 June 2017
Thomas P. Broughan TD: I also wish to be associated with the good wishes expressed towards Deputy Doyle on his reappointment. It is well merited, I think. Some months ago, his colleague, the Minister, Deputy Creed, told me that three greyhounds were exported to Argentina in 2013, 33 in 2014, 3 in 2015 and 7 in 2016, although greyhound racing has ceased in Argentina. He also said that no greyhounds are exported direct from Ireland to Pakistan during 2016. But there are persistent rumours that those exports are taking place. Previously, the Minister mentioned the EU TRACES system which looks at the export of animals throughout the European Union. Nonetheless, there are persistent rumours that there are significant exports to Pakistan, where the animal welfare regime is deplorable. Can I ask in relation to the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill, a Bill which I sponsored myself, if the Minister will be adopting it and including it in your own legislation?
Deputy Andrew Doyle (Minister of State at Department of Agriculture): I thank the Deputy for his kind words. My Department has a close working relationship with welfare charities on all aspects of animal welfare. The Department has in the past met with the International Greyhound Forum, which includes members of Dogs Trust and the ISPCA, to discuss the issue of greyhound exports. Information received to-date from my Department’s local offices indicates that no greyhounds have been exported directly from Ireland to China or Pakistan to-date this year, and nine greyhounds were exported directly from Ireland to China in 2016.
My Department has access to the figures for exports of dogs from Ireland to other EU member states through the European Commission’s TRACES [trade control and expert] system. My department does not have figures for the movements of dogs that are, for example, exported to the UK, the most significant destination for Irish dogs, and subsequently exported to a third country.
I am aware that the Deputy has introduced a Private Members’ Bill on the subject of the export of greyhounds and to respond directly to the Deputy’s query, my Department officials are examining the Bill. Once animal health and welfare standards, set by EU law for trade within the EU, are met, dogs, including greyhounds, may be exported. Exporters are required to comply with EU law on the protection of animals during transport. The Irish Greyhound Board advises all owners of greyhounds to only export to destinations that provide the expected levels of greyhound care and management as defined in its code of practice. That’s a view which we fully endorse.
Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: The Minister of State will remember that last year, around the time the Government was formed, there was a major public outcry in relation to the export of three Irish greyhounds to Macau, where they would have been raced in the infamous Canidrome, where dogs are effectively raced to death. Subsequently, a couple of dozen Irish dogs were returned to Ireland when the transport authorities in the UK stopped those who were carrying them. There is no adoption or protection system in Macau or in China generally but there has been a lot of evidence in relation to persistent reports of exports to Pakistan. Videos have been uploaded on social media and so on showing animals being seriously maltreated with hunting animals, and it is something the Minister of State needs to address. He mentioned direct exports. As he will be aware, 80% of the dogs in the UK are our dogs, dogs that were bred here – beautiful, intelligent animals. Has the Minister of State made any contact with the equivalent Department or Minister in the UK to bring this matter to their attention and see what you could do together? I know the Irish Department will be in contact with its equivalent in the UK regarding Brexit, our agriculture and fisheries and so on. In this context, the Bill I introduced was advocated strongly by the Dogs Trust welfare organisation. There is great anxiety that we would create a white list of countries that treat greyhounds and dogs generally well and we could set the example for Britain. Has the Minister of State held any such discussions?
Deputy Andrew Doyle: I do not have the answer because I am substituting for the Minister today. I think it would be useful to try and establish from the UK the level of…You are right – 80% of the animals in the UK are exported from Ireland, so it would be helpful to have that level of information. However, no more than anything else with Brexit, having control over the UK after its exit from the EU on the issue of further exports is going to be problematic if we continue to export to the UK, which we probably will. Because there’s a demand, or enthusiasm, in some of the countries the Deputy mentioned for this kind of activity, there is work to be done on that end by colleague organisations across the globe in many ways. These are global bodies – NGOs and the like – and they have a body of work to be done there too.
Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: In terms of dogs and horses, the UK and Ireland operate as a single entity, I think, in terms of breeding and racing so there is clearly an opportunity there for the Minister of State, even in the context of Brexit, to ensure that high standards are adhered to.
Will the Government just accept the legislation I tabled or will it incorporate it as part of the greyhound industry reform Bill? Deputy Penrose has been doing a lot of work in this area. Will the Government take all the legislation together and improve the welfare of our greyhounds?
Deputy Andrew Doyle: Welfare is an integral part of the new greyhound legislation. The Bill you brought before the House is more comprehensive than ours. As Deputies Martin Kenny and Charlie McConalogue will be aware, the agriculture committee hopes to return the greyhound Bill after our consideration of it during pre-legislative scrutiny next Tuesday. We will be anxious to expedite that Bill. It will be hard to get it done before the summer recess but we hope to advance it as quickly as possible. I think it would be better to work in parallel rather than trying to morph the two into one. The tripartite agreement between Ireland, England and France has a serious impact both for our horse industry as well as our greyhound industry, so that is something to take up.