Written answers

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Horse Racing Industry

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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837. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 833 of 1 February 2022, the terms of reference of the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board commissioned audit of anti-doping procedures in Irish racing further to the report of the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on Horse Racing in Ireland; the intended timeline to completion and publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6658/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is a commercial state body established under the Horse and Greyhound Act, 2001.

The Horse Racing Ireland Act, 2016 provides that HRI is responsible for the overall administration, governance, development and promotion of the Irish horse racing industry for guaranteeing funding to the Racing Regulatory Board to carry out its functions through an integrity services budget which is agreed annually. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) is the regulatory body for all horseracing in Ireland.

The IHRB operates independently of my Department in the exercise of their regulatory functions.

However, I am advised that Dr. Craig Suann began his work on the Equine Anti-Doping Audit of the IHRB last month.

As per the IHRB’s recently published Equine Anti-Doping Report, Dr. Suann will audit the IHRB’s Equine Anti-Doping plans, policies and procedures as they relate to the report issued last year by the Joint Oireachtas Committee and also the IHRB’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

He will assess what has been achieved so far and what is outstanding with recommendations on how to achieve these objectives as a priority. The IHRB’s Equine-Anti Doping strategy will be examined in the context of strategies and best practices employed by other racing regulators.

The findings of Dr. Suann’s report will be published by the IHRB in early Q2 of this year.


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