A long running welfare case was finalised at Ballinasloe District Court this week where a conviction under the Welfare of Greyhound Act 2011 was secured by Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) with costs in the sum of €5,049 being awarded to RCÉ.  Judge James Faughnan, in dealing with the case, issued a bench warrant for the offending party to appear before the court for sentencing at a future date.

The case related to inspections undertaken by RCÉ in 2018 and 2019 whereby RCÉ Welfare Officers were satisfied that the care and welfare arrangements for the greyhounds on the premises were not to the required standards.  Following the securing of a search warrant, RCÉ seized 29 greyhounds from the property in 2019 and placed same in foster care pending re-homing of the greyhounds.  RCÉ, in conjunction with its sister entity, the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, has secured ‘forever homes’ for 26 of the greyhounds seized from the property.

Gerard Dollard, Chief Executive Officer, Rásaíocht Con Éireann, very much welcomed the outcome of the case at Ballinasloe District Court.  He stated “The effort made by Rásaíocht Con Éireann’s Welfare team in relation to this particular case and the necessity to resort to obtaining the search warrant and ultimate seizure of greyhounds is very much in line with RCÉ’s priority of maintaining animal welfare at the centre of the industry.  Where breaches in relation to the Welfare of Greyhounds Act are identified, RCÉ will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the care and welfare needs of racing greyhounds are properly addressed by the parties responsible.  The decision of the District Justice at Ballinasloe District Court underlines the fact that the Courts will also take such matters very seriously.”

RCÉ implements a comprehensive welfare programme with 455 welfare inspections being conducted in 2020.  The overall inspection programme has been impacted in relation to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.  All reports received on the Confidential Welfare Line are assessed by Welfare Officers and appropriate action is immediately taken.