A Co Cork greyhound recorded as having been rehomed as a pet in Co Tipperary has instead been noted taking part in coursing trials in Pakistan.
Granard Swift, a four-year-old animal previously owned in Mallow, is noted as having been rehomed as a pet in the databases of both Greyhound Racing Ireland - the Irish regulator formerly known as Bord na gCon - and the Irish Coursing Club (ICC), which maintains the national studbook.
The dog’s former owner in Co Cork confirmed to the Irish Examiner that she had been rehomed to the US.
How the animal came to be moved once more to Pakistan is as yet unknown.
“Rásaíocht Con Éireann, or any Irish regulator, has no control of events outside the jurisdiction of Ireland and has no statutory function regarding the regulation of greyhound exports,” a spokesperson for Greyhound Racing Ireland, the sport’s governing body, said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Irish Coursing Club said the rehoming of the dog to the US had been notified to the ICC, and that this fact had been “recorded manually on our database”.
They added that all animals noted as having been either rehomed or retired as a pet “default to a generic code” on the ICC’s registration system.
“In all instances where a greyhound is notified as ‘rehomed’ or ‘retired as pet’, Tipperary is the default county as the ICC head office is based there,” they added.
The question marks surrounding the fate of some retired greyhounds took centre stage during a Dáil debate on Wednesday when the Social Democrats proposed that all State funding for the sport be phased out by 2025.
During the debate, several rural TDs commented that the retired animals they are aware of have found caring homes. The bill was easily voted down later that evening.
A seismic 2017 report compiled by consultants, Preferred Results, and commissioned by Greyhound Racing Ireland had concluded that in the region of 6,000 greyhounds were culled each year in Ireland.
An animal named Granard Swift is visible in a number of social media posts by a Pakistani coursing and greyhound racing club dating from last December.
The dog bears the same name and markings - white and dark brindle - as detailed in her entries on the ICC and GRI databases, while the posts mention that she is born of parents Adios Alonso and Granard Storm, which also matches her official Irish lineage.
Greyhound Racing Ireland, whose sub-company the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) has responsibility for rehoming retired animals, said that it had “investigated the matter” and concluded that the transfer of the animal to the US was in compliance with greyhound welfare legislation, a fact reiterated by the ICC.
GRI’s spokesperson said that the animal had not been rehomed with either its assistance or that of the IRGT. The dog’s former owner did not respond to a request to confirm how the animal had been rehomed to the US.
It is also unclear as to whether or not the dog was neutered prior to moving countries. Rehomed greyhounds are required to be neutered in order to remove their commercial value.
“It has not been established at this stage as to whether the greyhound claimed as being in Pakistan is the same greyhound,” the GRI said.
GRI said that to date in 2020 1,325 animals have been either directly, or with the assistance of the IRGT, rehomed.