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Minister of State McEntee welcomes the passage of the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 through the Seanad

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, has welcomed the passage of the final stages of the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 through the Seanad today.  This is the final step in the legislative process before the Bill goes to the President for signature into law.

The Minister of State said: "My officials and I have consulted widely with all the interested parties in relation to the Bill.  The result is a Bill that has cross-party support, putting in place a modern, comprehensive framework - with appropriate sanctions - to ensure nothing but the very best levels of welfare for our greyhounds.  My approach of consultation and consensus underlines the way politicians should approach the often unnecessarily divisive issues of animal welfare.  The way will shortly be open for my colleague, Minister Phil Hogan, to sign the Order bringing into effect the Dog Breeding (Establishments) Act 2010."

The greyhound industry makes a very significant contribution to the Irish economy and it should be recognized that it is an export orientated industry as evidenced by the fact that approximately 75% of the greyhounds that currently race in the UK were bred in Ireland.  Legislation which enhances greyhound welfare is crucial for the further development of the industry.

The provisions in the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 take due cognisance of the well established controls that the Irish Coursing Club and Bord na gCon already have in place. This legislation provides a sound legal basis for welfare inspections to be carried out at all premises where greyhounds are kept. This Bill grants a wide range of powers to welfare officers and empowers them to issue welfare notices outlining improvements where such are required.

Date Released: 09 November 2011