On Monday morning I held my usual Darndale information clinic and Tuesday saw representatives from my office take part in the street canvass around St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton St for Wednesday’s #RaiseTheRoof rally. The lunchtime rally on Wednesday brought over 12,000 people to the streets of Dublin to call on the Government to declare a Housing Emergency and take action on our worsening crisis. The rally was attended by people of all ages, many unions were represented and all Opposition parties and Independents supported the cross-party motion in the Dáil later that same day.
The Minister and Minister of State are hoping to introduce the greyhound industry (amendment) Bill shortly. It has undergone pre-legislative scrutiny and so forth, but there are rumours within the animal welfare community, including among the ISPCA, Dogs Trust and other organisations, that there will not be a white list of countries with low welfare standards to which the export of greyhounds will be forbidden.
Today during Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Tommy Broughan again asked for the welfare of greyhounds being exported to be further regulated and improved. It is just over a year since Deputy Broughan introduced the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was to provide for a white list of countries to which the export of greyhounds under licence would be permissible. It would also make it an offence for persons to export greyhounds to countries not on the white list.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to move this important legislation, the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill 2017. The Bill amends the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 by inserting a new Part 4A. It provides for control of the export of greyhounds and for the publication of a white list of countries to which the export of greyhounds under licence will only be permissible. The Bill will also make it an offence for persons to export greyhounds to countries not on the white list and will provide for related matters. I thank Ms Suzie Carley, the executive director of Dogs Trust, and her staff for their powerful advocacy and research on this Bill and for bringing this matter to the Legislature and the public. Dogs Trust has been in Ireland since 2005 and has re-homed 7,000 dogs since 2009. Indeed, they re-homed almost 3,000 in 2016 alone.
On the 21st of March 2017, Deputy Broughan will introduce the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill 2017 in conjunction with Dogs’ Trust Ireland. The Bill will amend the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 to provide for the control of export of greyhounds and for the publication of a white list to which the export of greyhounds under licence would only be permissible. This Bill will also make it an offence for persons to export greyhounds to countries not on the white list and will provide for related matters. Deputy Broughan would like to thank the staff at Dogs’ Trust for their terrific research and work on this timely Bill and for bringing this matter again to the legislature’s and the public’s attention.