Greyhound and coursing personnel to come before Oireachtas tomorrow

The Irish Greyhound Board and Irish Coursing Club will appear before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9.

Their appearance comes following allegations about the mistreatment of greyhounds in RTÉ Investigates: ‘Greyhounds Running for Their Lives’ programme.

The Irish Greyhound Board – Bord na gCon – is the commercial semi-state body for the control and development of greyhound industry and is getting more than €16 million in funding from the Department of Agriculture this year.

The Irish Coursing Club manages and regulates coursing and is the body over the registration and identification of thoroughbred greyhounds in Ireland.

The bodies have been invited before the committee to discuss what actions are being taking to restore public confidence in the industry following the documentary.

The greyhound industry will be the third topic up for discussion at the meeting.

The Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, will open the session with a discussion on the opportunities and challenges the Climate Action Plan brings for the forestry sector.

He will also discuss issues surrounding ash dieback; a chronic fungal disease of ash trees.

Representatives from Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners will discuss ash dieback affecting woodland owners.

Speaking before the meeting, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pat Deering, said: “The committee welcomes all of the speakers on these important issues.

In relation to the Prime Time documentary on greyhounds, this has caused a lot of concern.

“We will want to hear about the issues raised in the documentary but also on structures in place and ring-fenced funding for the welfare and re-homing of greyhounds.”