Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) / Greyhound Racing Ireland carried out a record 1,221 welfare inspections and inspections of greyhound establishments during 2021.
The number of inspections carried out by RCÉ Welfare Officers was almost double the number of inspections (615) carried out in 2019, the greyhound industry’s last full year of operation.
RCÉ Welfare Officers served 82 Fixed Payment Notices of €250 last year for a range of offences, including failure to notify the sale, purchase, or death of a greyhound, under Section 10 (6) of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011. This figure compares to 15 Fixed Payment Notices in 2019. An additional 10 Welfare Notices were served under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 with 3 Welfare Notices being served under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013.
RCÉ secured two successful convictions in respect of breaches of the Welfare of Greyhounds Regulations 2016 with a €1,000 fine being imposed in one case and sentencing awaited in another. RCÉ was awarded costs of over €5,000 in each case.
“RCÉ takes a zero-tolerance approach to any breaches of the regulations relating to ownership, sale or treatment of greyhounds across Ireland,” commented Mr. Barry Coleman (RCÉ Care & Welfare Manager)
He continued, “While compliance with legislation and engagement with our Traceability System remains very high, RCÉ is fully committed to ensuring the welfare of greyhounds across the State is protected. Our team of Welfare Officers will continue to carry out extensive inspections during 2022 and where necessary, impose sanctions following investigations.”
Mr. Coleman urged owners and trainers to remind themselves of their statutory requirements under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and their obligation to provide regular updates on their greyhounds on the Rásaíocht Con Éireann Traceability System (RCÉTS).
The rollout of RCÉTS has been completed on a phased basis since January 2021. This has included an educational programme for owners and trainers with a comprehensive roadshow nationwide to all stadia to assist them with the setup and registration of user profiles and providing updates. Phase Two of the RCÉTS, which is being rollout during 2022, will add further functionality and reporting to the system. This, amongst other life events recorded, will include the recording of injury data and the uploading of veterinary certificates.
Updates can be provided on www.rcets.ie or by downloading the RCÉTS IOS App in the Apple App Store or the RCÉTS Android App in the Google Play Store.