Minister: Immediate review of licenses for knackeries, some of which will be revoked 'if that’s what it takes'

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle, has said that there will be an immediate review of the issuing of licences for knackeries.

This comes after an RTE Investigates programme on Wednesday which highlighted the practice of some knackeries euthanising greyhounds for as little as €10 to €13 per animal.

Mr Doyle told RTE radio’s News at One that it was not acceptable in any sort of civil society to have animals treated in this way.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle

However, he said that the majority of greyhound owners loved their animals and would not condone such behavior. “This is a minority that have tarnished the entire sector.”

As a farmer and a person who cares for animals himself, he found the details revealed on the programme “totally revolting.”

The level of culling detailed in a confidential report which was prepared for the Irish Greyhound Board by consultants Preferred Results Ltd in 2017, was “hard to fathom” he said.

According to the report up to 6,000 greyhounds are culled every year because the greyhound industry is producing 1,000 per cent more puppies than it needs.

He said that since he took up his position in 2016 the industry has gone through a number of reforms and more will come about because of the Greyhound Racing Act of 2018.

"There needs to be proper traceability of dogs similar to databases that exit for cattle," he added.

Mr Doyle said there is no doubt that the sector will come under pressure to make changes, there will have to be assurances from the industry that they are determined to improve their reputation and that “the people who treat their animals like this are exposed.”

It had been “horrific” to see footage of animals “being treated like that in this State.”

There will be an immediate review of the issuing of licences to knackeries, some of which will be revoked “if that’s what it takes.”

Murphy: State funding of greyhound industry has to be reviewed

The co-leader of the Social Democrats party, Catherine Murphy TD has said that State funding of the greyhound industry should be reviewed in light of a report revealing over production of pups which resulted in widespread culling.

An RTÉ Investigates programme on Wednesday cited a confidential business analysis report prepared for the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) which indicated that up to 6,000 greyhounds are being killed each year because they are not fast enough.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD
Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD

The confidential report, which was prepared for the IGB by consultants Preferred Results in 2017, but was never published, also revealed that the greyhound industry is breeding 1,000 per cent more puppies than it needs, leading to a cull of thousands of racing dogs every year.

Ms Murphy told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that State funding of the industry needs to be examined now and that the report prepared by Preferred Results should be published.

She said she could not accept a claim by the CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollards that only a minority of people in the industry were behaving like this and that the majority were operating in a proper fashion.

“I would have to question continued State funding of this industry,” she added.

Ms Murphy said it did not look like the industry was capable of self regulation.

“We need to get to the heart of the over breeding. What are you to do with so many dogs?”

IGB: Unacceptable greyhounds are killed because they're allegedly 'not fast enough'

The CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard has said it is totally unacceptable for healthy animals to be killed just because they are allegedly “not fast enough.”

Minister: Immediate review of licenses for knackeries, some of which will be revoked 'if that’s what it takes'

He was responding to an RTÉ Investigates programme broadcast on Wednesday which had cited a confidential business analysis report prepared for the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) which stated that up to 6,000 greyhounds are being killed each year because they are not fast enough.

The Irish greyhound industry is breeding 1,000% more puppies than it needs, leading to a cull of thousands of racing dogs every year.

The confidential report was prepared for the IGB by consultants Preferred Results Ltd in 2017, but was never published.

Mr Dollard told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that he was horrified at the brutal acts on defenceless animals revealed in the television programme. Hidden cameras showed greyhounds being shot and disposed of in a skip.

The board CEO said that animals should only be euthanised by a vet and it was “totally unacceptable” for any other methods of culling greyhounds to be used.

There are 7,500 owners in the industry in Ireland and the actions portrayed on the television programme were those of a “small minority” and not reflective of the industry as a whole, he said.

There are no accurate figures on the numbers of dogs being culled and it is up to the Irish Greyhound Board to ensure that animals are fully traceable and then it would be possible to say definitely what is happening in the industry, added Mr Dollard.

Around 14,000 greyhound pups are born every year, but only 4,000 are registered on the Irish Coursing Club’s studbooks, he said. A significant number are exported, some die naturally and others are culled, he said when asked what happened to the 10,000 pups not registered.

It is an issue of accountability, he acknowledged.

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