Its critics might say ‘not before time’ or ‘too little too late’. But the fact remains that the Irish Greyhound Board seems to be following its British counterpart, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, with a more open approach to welfare and integrity writes Floyd Amphlett.
In a nine month summary of progress made in 2019, the Board press release reveals number for kennel checks, drugs tests and re-homing futures. The update comes two weeks after the Irish Government confirmed that it will back the greyhound industry to a tune of €16.8m in 2020.
Irish Greyhound Board Welfare & Regulation update: October 2019
The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) continues to make significant progress in the areas of welfare and regulation under its Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
€2 million was spent by the IGB across regulation and welfare in 2018.
An array of care and welfare measures, including a greyhound injury support scheme, the launch of the Greyhound Care Line, an extension of our foster care scheme, the establishment of the Greyhound Care Fund and other initiatives have been introduced in recent months.
Further measures, such as a traceability system for all racing greyhounds and negotiations with international rehoming agencies to rehome more retired Irish greyhounds, continue to progress.
The following is an update on various welfare and regulation measures up to the end of September 2019:
January 1st – September 30th 2019:
- 388 inspections of ‘greyhound establishments’ and welfare inspections carried out, which includes trainers’ kennels
*These include unannounced kennel inspections
- 52 welfare investigations carried out
- These involve matters such as stray greyhounds/reports received of greyhound welfare concerns/non-notification to ICC of sales or transfers of greyhounds
- Five Welfare Notices served by IGB Welfare Officers in 2019
- Ten Fixed Payment Notices served by IGB Welfare Officers in 2019
Greyhound Regulation / National Greyhound Laboratory sampling:
- January 2019: 394 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings
- February 2019: 317 samples analysed, 3 adverse analytical findings
- March 2019: 463 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings
- April 2019: 470 samples analysed, 3 adverse analytical findings
- May 2019: 553 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings
- June 2019: 470 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings
- July 2019: 472 samples analysed, 1 adverse analytical findings
- August 2019: 544 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings
- September 2019: 481 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings
- Total sampling between January & September 2019 = 4,164
- Number of adverse analytical findings found between January & September 2019 = 13 (0.31%)
- Number of samples analysed by Bord na Gcon Laboratory during 2018 = 5,288
- Number of adverse analytical findings found in 2018 = 22 (0.41%)
Rehoming of Retired Greyhounds:
- Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) [Registered Charity: 20034849]
- Established by the IGB and is jointly funded together with greyhound owners to rehome greyhounds after retirement and in promoting as domestic pets.
- The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust now assists Irish Private Rehoming Agencies in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Kerry and Belfast by providing financial assistance towards either their veterinary costs or their transportation costs. Organisations may submit proposals to the IRGT for financial assistance and such proposals will then be considered by the Trustees of the IRGT.
- From June 2019, these assisted agencies can obtain an additional €100 per retired greyhound rehomed in Ireland to encourage and further facilitate domestic rehomings.
Greyhound rehomings between January & September 2019:
- IRGT rehomings = 425 (versus 402 in same period in 2018)
- Rehomings by private rehoming organisations which receive financial assistance from the IRGT = 328 (versus 366 in same period in 2018)
- Total rehomings = 753 (versus 768 in same period in 2018)