Friday, March 26, 2010


Taken from the ICC website

Calling on all Coursing Club members, Coursing enthusiasts and Greyhound Breeders to participate in the R.I.S.E. march which takes place in Waterford this Saturday, March 27th . The march is being held to coincide with the Green Party national convention which takes place in Waterford also this weekend.

As officers and members of Coursing Clubs and as Greyhound Breeders you already fully comply with all the rules and regulations which are in place BUT for the Green Party this is not enough.

Now the Draft Dog Breeding Establishment Bill, the impending Animal Welfare Bill, the ban on the Ward Union Stag Union etc are real threats to our traditional rural field sports and to the greyhound industry at large.

Please join us behind the Irish Coursing Club banner in Waterford on Saturday morning and encourage as many of your club members and friends to do likewise. Now is the time to make our point.

Looking forward to meeting you there,

DJ Histon

CEO/ Secretary Irish Coursing Club.

Assemble opposite Dooleys Hotel, The Quay, Waterford from 11am.

March will begin at 12 noon.

If you require further information please contact Eugene Cooney 052 6188500

I would like to add...........

Anyone from the Thurles Clonmel area can hitch a free ride on the Coach organised by the Tipperary GOBA

It leaves from Thurles Car Park at will be stopping at Clonmel

I will be there ............with my camera!................


Here is a open letter to anyone reading this Blog .......who has no idea why the Greyhound Industry opposes the new Bill in its PRESENT FORM.


The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) is responsible for maintaining the Irish Greyhound Stud Book for all tattooed greyhounds. The Greyhound Industry is governed by the 1958 Greyhound Industry Act and this clearly sets out the responsibilities of the ICC under the auspices of the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism (DAST).

The current draft of the Dog Breeding Bill is a result of the findings of a Working Group established in 2005 to examine puppy farming, a practice which attracted considerable unfavourable attention due to poor standards and lack of accountability/regulation. The greyhound industry representative on the working group submitted a comprehensive minority report outlining the rationale for certain exemptions for the greyhound industry.

The ICC is supportive of initiatives that enhance and support the welfare of animals in Ireland. The ICC is a member of the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB), Welfare Committee which promotes and proposes welfare measures that are appropriate for the industry. The ICC is a member of the International Greyhound Forum, a body established to promote the welfare requirements of the international greyhound industry. However we do not support a Bill that will create additional burden to greyhound owners and breeders, when the industry already has significant structures and controls in place to successfully manage this important area. The ICC cannot support additional cost being placed on greyhound owners/breeders as they already expend significant funds to assist in the management and promotion of the industry.

The ICC wishes to inform the elected representatives and senators with responsibility in approving enactment of this Bill of the serious impact this will have on the greyhound industry if ratified in its current format.

I have set out key points in relation to Draft Dog Breeding Bill:

1. In the Draft Memo to the Government it is stated Greyhounds will be exempted from micro chipping but in the Bill it does not state this fact. Greyhounds are tattooed since the inception of the Stud Book and this method of identification has served the industry well. The tattoo earmark is applied by Control Stewards, jointly appointed by the ICC and the IGB. Control Stewards conduct inspections of breeder’s premises each occasion a litter is born. They also conduct inspections of brood bitches prior to giving birth. This level of inspection ensures standards are maintained and the early detection of any welfare issues.

2. The Irish greyhound Stud Book is recognised worldwide for its integrity and has an additional layer of control by ensuring the DNA profiling of all stud dogs and brood bitches. This is not replicated by any other dog breed in Ireland. There is significant cost associated with maintaining this service and this is largely funded by the greyhound owners and breeders by the payment of registration fees.

3. The basis for determining a breeding establishment in relation to greyhounds is flawed:

(a) A trainer may have a number of bitches on his premises for the sole purposes of racing. He will be licensed by the IGB and on conclusion of their respective racing careers; the owner takes charge of his greyhound. The trainer is not managing greyhounds for the purposes of breeding

(b) A person rearing greyhounds will not be engaged in the activity of breeding and will return each greyhound when the greyhound reaches adult stage. This is clearly not a breeding establishment

(c) An owner may have a number of greyhounds for the purpose of racing/coursing and overtime the number of greyhounds will fluctuate due to the normal practice of selling and purchasing

(d) The IGB operates a licensed trainer register for both public and private trainers. They are subject to inspection by Stipendiary Stewards prior to approval by the Board. They are inspected on a continuous basis thereafter.

4. The ICC operates a register of all matings, litters born, adult greyhound named and transfer of ownerships completed. This is a comprehensive register of all activities associated with breeding.

5. All greyhounds are tattoo earmarked for identification purposes and in the event of a greyhound found straying the ICC can be contacted immediately to determine ownership details.

6. The limit of six litters per bitch is not reasonable or practical: The industry is dependent on stakeholders breeding brood bitches and in particular successful brood bitches. It is only the very successful broods that will be bred on more than six occasions. The responsible approach and one that exists currently, is for the owner and his/her vet to decide on the appropriateness or otherwise to breed from a bitch at a certain stage of her life cycle. This decision would be based on the health status of the bitch and could be signed off by the vet. The success of Irish breeding worldwide is a direct result of Government funding which has created a platform to develop racing infrastructure and sustain record prize money levels. To implement this Bill without due recognition of the greyhound industry will certainly undermine the very foundation of our sport/industry, by depleting the quality breeding stock that we have worked so hard to attain.

7. The requirement that a bitch may not be mated inside 12months from the previous litter is not workable. The season cycle of a bitch may vary and from a practical perspective; you may only be able to mate a bitch every two years because you fall inside the 12 month stipulation. This is impacting on the breeder to operate his breeding regime based on his brood bitches season cycle and by following advice from his vet.

The above are some of the key points to be considered. I would urge you to take note of the concerns currently detailed by the Greyhound Owner groups, as these are the people at the coalface and will be the first to experience the impact of this Bill.

Finally, there is a developed infrastructure currently in place which supports the regulation and control of the industry. The ICC operates a sophisticated registration system which tracks all matters relating to breeding and ownership of greyhounds and will continue to play its part in the implementation and policing of welfare standards for the industry. Any appropriate regulation should be introduced under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958.

Thankyou for taking the time to read it