A man handed over two greyhounds to a third party who shot them in the head, after they showed no promise of chasing hares, a court heard yesterday.
Avoiding paying a vet €80 to have each dog humanely put down by injection, John Corkery gave the animals to a man who shot them.
The two dogs were found, along with four other greyhounds rotting in a disused quarry at Ballyagran, Co Limerick, on Apr 10, 2012.
Corkery, aged 53, a well-known greyhound trainer, had been rearing the dogs for coursing competitions and track racing events.
The owners of the remaining four dead dogs found are unknown.
Inspector Eamon O’Neill told Newcastle West District Court the case was “the first of its kind” to be brought before court after legislation, under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act was introduced in Nov 2011.
Corkery, of Love Lane, Charleville, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to one count of forging his son’s name as the registered owner of a greyhound Rathluirc Sham.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Irish Coursing Board of the transfer of ownership of Kildangan Dawn.
Judge Mary Larkin noted that, despite his guilty pleas, Corkery would not identity the person who shot the two dogs.
Solicitor Denis Linehan said: “From the outset, he put his hands up to this.”
Inspector O’Neill agreed, without the pleas of guilt, it would have been “difficult” for gardaí to secure a prosecution.
“It is the inhumane manner in which the dogs were put down that gives the gravest offence,” Judge Larkin said. She fined Mr Corkery €300 for the forgery charge and €500 for the failing to notify transfer of ownership offence.
The Irish Greyhound Board last night said it welcomed the “successful prosecution”.
“The IGB have worked with the gardaí in bringing about this successful prosecution to ensure the full facts of the case were investigated. It is hoped that today’s prosecution will act as a deterrent and ensure that all owners and trainers will be compliant with the act in the future,” it said.
IGB welfare manager Barry Coleman added: “The IGB condemns all acts of neglect towards greyhounds and encourages, at all times, responsible ownership practices. This first ever prosecution under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011, which the IGB helped develop, sets a strong precedent for the future and should further reinforce our tough stance against any potential transgressors.”