1% of greyhound samples test positive for doping

A total of 58 samples taken from greyhounds in competition around the country last year were positive for doping, although that number represents just over 1% of all samples taken in 2015.

1% of greyhound samples test positive for doping

Figures provided by the Irish Greyhound Board (Bord na gCon) also show 33 sanctions were imposed on owners and trainers last year — including a disqualification and exclusion order applied to one man following the deaths of 11 greyhounds on a ferry in 2014.

The figures from the IGB show a total of 5,331 samples were taken from dogs at tracks around the country last year, with more than 1,000 taken at Shelbourne Park. Youghal in Co Cork had the lowest number of samples taken, at 118.

Of the 58 positive samples, 15 were at Shelbourne Park, with Waterford the location of the next highest figure, at nine. The latter track, where 226 samples were taken, had the highest percentage of positive tests of any track, albeit 3.4%.

Tracks with no positive samples included Dundalk, Galway, Kilkenny, Mullingar, and Newbridge.

As for welfare and kennel inspections, 569 checks were carried out last year, including 80 in October.

Of the 33 penalties handed down last year, 27 were under Section 10 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act, relating mainly to notification of sale or transfer of greyhounds.

Three welfare notices were served by Bord na gCon welfare officers and there were more serious charges in three other cases.

In June a successful prosecution was brought in Nenagh District Court against an individual who had failed to comply with a welfare notice issued the previous November, resulting in a fine of €2,500 and another €1,500 in expenses.

In October a disqualification order and exclusion order was imposed on Manuel Portillo Lopez following an investigation into the deaths of 11 greyhounds on board the Oscar Wilde Ferry the previous October. Last December, disqualification and exclusion orders were imposed on a Paul Nolan, linked to the June prosecution.

The Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland (GRAI) welcomed the news of the orders but said: “GRAI are concerned over the lack of information regarding the length of the imposed orders. GRAI are further concerned the orders do not go as far as banning the aforementioned from keeping greyhounds — they are disqualified/excluded from tracks; sales; coursing meetings; Irish Stud Book registrations.”

The GRAI also queried whether licences in Ireland would be revoked for those found guilty of doping offences in the UK but who had continued to race those same dogs at events here.


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