Thursday, 20 December 2018
Greyhound Racing Bill 2018: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage
I apologise. It is my mistake. Amendments Nos. 22 and 23 are linked and are both relevant to the same section. Amendment No. 23 is grouped with amendments Nos. 24 and 25. They all deal with section 27. Amendment No. 23 proposes to replace section 27(1)(e). In section 27(1)(e), the Bill states the board "may, after consultation with the Minister" make regulations for "setting residue limits for substances or metabolites of substances that may be found in samples taken from a racing greyhound by reference to the substance and the nature of the sample taken from the greyhound." I propose that is changed to "stringent prohibition, in line with best international practices, class A substances (drugs) that may be found in samples taken from a racing greyhound by reference to the substance and the nature of the sample taken from the greyhound". It should be prohibited. We should outlaw the misuse of drugs and the absolute destruction it is causing to greyhounds which are animals we all care for. We would not feed our pet dogs cocaine, steroids or beta blockers. One does not treat animals that way but people in the industry are using animals. They are treating them in that way. It is absolutely wrong. That is the purpose of amendment No. 23.
I will proceed to speak to amendment No. 24. It deals with the same section and proposes there would be a minimum period. If a dog was found with a positive sample today, it should not be allowed to race next Saturday night. It should be outlawed. There should be a minimum period introduced for greyhounds found with a positive sample. That is the purpose of amendment No. 24.
Amendment No. 25 is in the name of Senator Alice-Mary Higgins. She will deal with it. I support that amendment. It is important to have minimum standards where a dog and trainer are disqualified for a minimum period. It is very wrong, as has happened, that a dog would race on a Tuesday night, test positive for drugs and be allowed to race again on the Saturday night. It is wrong. That is what is happening at present. It does not matter which amendment is accepted because they are very similar.