Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
523. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the frequency with which racing dogs are drug tested here; the number of winners that have been tested in the past two years after the race; if all winners could be drug tested after each race; the reason the 2015 drug test results have not been released; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2712/17]
The administration of greyhound races is an operational matter for Bord na gCon. However I have made enquiries with Bord Na gCon in relation to the matters raised by the deputy.
Bord na gCon inform me that in 2015 there were 5,632 samples analysed at Board approved Laboratories for the purpose of prohibited substance detection. 79 of these samples returned a positive result for an Adverse Analytical Finding. The corresponding figure for 2016 is 5,388 with 47 confirmed Adverse Analytical Findings returned (to date). A number of samples from 2016 remain to be completed. 12,681 greyhounds raced at licensed stadia in 2015 and 12,312 greyhounds raced at licensed stadia in 2016. The minimum requirement for testing at a licensed race meeting is two random samples per race meeting. More extensive sampling is undertaken by testing teams which are deployed both on a random and targeted basis. Samples are also taken at Sales Trials and at trainer’s premises for greyhounds currently racing.
They state that of the 79 Adverse Analytical Findings in 2015, 13 were taken from winning greyhounds at greyhound races. Of the 47 Adverse Analytical Findings in 2016, 4 were taken from winning greyhounds.
They further state that during the year 2016, 1st placed greyhounds were the most frequently tested at just under 20% of all greyhound tested. However prohibited substances can be used to enhance or to impair performance in racing greyhounds. Testing all winners (amounting to some 16,500 samples) is not therefore the most efficient use of available resources nor an effective anti-doping & medication control strategy.
Bord na gCon state that the results of all samples taken since the 1st October 2015 are placed on the IGB Website immediately after the results are notified to IGB along with information which identifies the dog in question. Samples taken prior to that date could only be published for legal reasons where the Control Committee had found a breach of the racing regulation had occurred. The overall statistics for 2015 have been published on a regular basis.