Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
563. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine whether Horse Racing Ireland or the Turf Club is responsible for the welfare of horses; to whom are complaints addressed regarding issues relating to the welfare of horses while in training with licensed trainers; the extent of Government funding to Horse Racing Ireland to date; the jurisdiction of the State over this funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9336/12]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): In the first instance the keeper of the horse is primarily responsible for its welfare. The main statutes governing cruelty to all animals, including race horses, are the Protection of Animals Act 1911 and the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act, 1965. Responsibility for enforcing this legislation rests with an Garda Síochána. The Programme for Government 2011 contains a commitment to strengthen legislation relating to the welfare of all animals. The main vehicle to fulfil this commitment will be the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which I intend to publish as soon as possible.
An individual wishing to make a complaint relating to the welfare of horses while in training with licensed trainers has a number of avenues open to them: they can, on a timely basis, submit a complaint to The Turf Club, report the matter to the Garda and/or institute civil proceedings.
Horse Racing Ireland has, since its establishment in 2001, received €588,680,981 in State funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund (the Fund). The Fund was established for the purpose of giving support to horse and greyhound racing. HRI has a regulatory and developmental role in the thoroughbred industry and its broadly based functions are outlines in The Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 (in addition to its functions under The Irish Horseracing Industry Act 1994). Horse Racing Ireland must apply its funding in accordance with its remit as established under legislation. Horse Racing Ireland is subject to annual audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General and at no time since its establishment has its efficiency or effectiveness been called into question. In addition, it has outsourced its Internal Audit function, which operates in accordance with the framework of codes of best practice as set out in the Code of Practice on the Governance of State Bodies and which report directly to the company’s Audit Committee.
|Last Updated: 08/03/2013 15:54:54||Page of 495|