Wednesday May 04, 2011
Wednesday 4th May:
The DSPCA, Dogs Trust and the Irish Blue Cross welcomes the decision by Bord Na gCon to exclude the export of Irish greyhounds to China from their racing industry development proposal.
This coalition has lobbied extensively for Bord Na gCon to reconsider their proposal which they believed to be inappropriate and ill thought out .The semi-state organisation could not guarantee the welfare of the greyhounds once they travelled to China, where there is neither animal welfare legislation nor veterinary regulation.
Therefore we welcome the decision by Bord na gCon, following discussions with Minister of State, Shane Mc Entee, to exclude any export of Irish greyhounds from their proposal. We are also reassured by the Minister McEntee’s statement that any proposal involving Bord na gCon and the racing industry in China would have to give due consideration to animal welfare matters.
Mark Beazley of Dogs Trust commented on today’s developments “We very much welcome this intervention by the Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food and pleased to see the detail of the IGB's proposal and delighted that the Minister has stated that Irish greyhounds will not leave Irish shores for use in a Chinese greyhound industry”.
Orla Aungier, Operations Manager of the DSPCA commented “Clearly our supporters and the public were very exercised about the idea that Irish greyhounds could be exported to somewhere like China .We have been getting calls and emails about this since the idea first surfaced. By channelling that concern into letters to the new Government this has hopefully been resolved and Irish greyhounds welfare is protected from being exported abroad.”
The coalition does however question the IGB's involvement in the development of greyhound racing in China and the wider welfare implications.
Christina Conneely, General Manager, the Irish Blue Cross commented '' We will be interested in hearing of the IGB's plans for welfare standards in relation to this matter. Let us not forget that 672 greyhounds were killed in Irish pounds in 2010*. We look forward to continuing our work with IGB to raise standards for greyhounds in Ireland and further afield.
The DSPCA, Dogs Trust and the Irish Blue Cross would also like to acknowledge the participation from concerned supporters and members of the public who sent letters and emails to their Dail representatives over the past number of months.
*Department of Environment