28th June 2019

Irish Greyhound Board statement: 28 June 2019

Following a special meeting of the Board of the Irish Greyhound Board today, the Board again condemned the illegal practices outlined in the Prime Time Investigates programme, broadcast on the 26th of June, 2019. In the short term, the Board has immediately approved the following range of measures:

• Introduction of a greyhound injury support scheme to provide financial assistance to aid injured greyhounds to continue with a healthy life.
• Extending and increasing support under the IGB scheme for foster care of greyhounds to identify new foster homes within Ireland for greyhounds.
• Revision, in conjunction with the International Greyhound Welfare Forum, of the Code of Practice on the Care and Welfare of the Greyhound to address retirement and transportation of greyhounds.
• Financially incentivise the rehoming of greyhounds in Ireland through additional supports though the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (which assisted in the rehoming of 1,021 greyhounds last year).
• Intensify its inspection regime of greyhound establishments (491 inspections were undertaken in 2018).
• Preparation of a statutory instrument to make it a legal requirement that euthanasia of a greyhound must be carried out by a veterinary practitioner. (this is already the standard expected under the IGB Code of Practice for the Care and Welfare of the Greyhound).
• Provision of the Code of Practice to all greyhound owners registered with the IGB and emphasise the requirement to fully comply with the standards expected.
• Progress the traceability provisions of the Greyhound Act 2019 though the establishing of a working group with the Irish Coursing Club (as keeper of the Stud Book) and industry representatives to devise a traceability model and a draft of the proposed statutory regulations.
• Establish a confidential Freephone line to enable reports of welfare breaches to be reported to the IGB for investigation by relevant agencies.

The Board has instructed that the Prime Time programme be reviewed in depth by the executive of the IGB to identify any actions that require to be followed up by the IGB. The Board will be seeking that RTE provides the IGB with all documented evidence gathered while researching the programme so that any breaches of the law can be pursued. The Board has also committed its full cooperation to other agencies and will provide whatever assistance is necessary in relation to any prosecutions.

The Board has also asked that an overall costed five year plan for the ‘care of the greyhound’ by devised for consideration by the National Greyhound Consultative Forum and for approval by the Board in the current year. Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, commented: “The actions evident by an irresponsible minority within the greyhound industry have no place in this sport and will not be tolerated. The IGB will continue to work with all agencies to ensure that such illegal activity is rooted out and those responsible are subject to prosecution for breaches of the law. Now that the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 has been finalised it is the Board’s clear intent to continue on its programme of further regulation within the sector.”

• This media release was published by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) on 28 June 2019. Click here for the original.

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