Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food & Horticulture Jackie Cahill TD says some of the practices highlighted in last night’s documentary on the greyhound industry were deeply disturbing.

The programme broadcast scenes of extreme cruelty and cited a report which claims that up to 6,000 greyhounds are being killed each year because they are not fast enough.

Deputy Cahill said, “Some of the practices that were shown during last night’s programme were horrific, and deeply distressing to watch. This level of cruelty is completely unacceptable and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“Only last week I raised the issue of animal welfare – particularly relating to dogs and horses – with Department of Agriculture officials at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee. I believe the current legislation – the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 – needs to be re-examined to ensure that the resources are in place to effectively monitor and protect the welfare of animals right across this country.

“The Greyhound Racing Bill, which passed through the Oireachtas last month, has greatly improved governance issues in Bord na gCon, as well as strengthening the regulatory framework and controls in the racing industry, particularly with regard to doping.

“The exporting of dogs remains a problem that needs to be tackled; we should not allow any certs to be issued for exports to China or Pakistan as there are worrying reports about animal welfare issues there. To date, no certs have been issued, but I would like concrete guarantees that this will never happen.

“The Minister must make every effort to ensure that the scenes which we witnessed last night are never repeated and that sanctions are in place to punish people who engage in such cruelty”, concluded Deputy Cahill.