The Board may make guidelines to control the establishment, layout, construction and maintenance of greyhound race tracks or the use of equipment at such tracks. Enforcement of guidelines in this area is dealt with by way of the track licensing regime.
The training of greyhounds for reward, the public sale of greyhounds and the artificial insemination of greyhounds are regulated. It is an offence to engage in these activities without a license, permit or approval issued by the Board. The contravention of regulations made under these provision a licensee, permit or approval holder now carries a Racing sanction.
The Minister may make regulations in relation to EU matters, databases, animal traceability and transport.
Doping and Substances
There is regulation-making powers for the Board in the area of doping control and the administration of substances to a greyhound. Among other things it allows the Board to list substances that may and may not be given to a greyhound, setting residue limits, withdrawal periods, declaring thresholds and the methodologies by which thresholds can be determined for substances.
The Board may make regulations requiring the keeping of records regarding the administration of substances, the controls to be operated and records to be kept by persons participating in greyhound racing in relation to doping and medication control. The advice and recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee is to be used to determine the processes, methods, levels of accuracy etc by which samples are deemed to contain a substance. It also provides that a greyhound that fails a test for prohibited substance is disqualified from racing or trialling until it passes a subsequent test.
Registration & Traceability
There are enabling powers in relation to the regulation for the traceability of greyhounds. The Board may make regulations to require the registration of greyhound owners, the registration of racing greyhounds and the notification by owners, breeders and trainers of greyhounds of many more life events than those currently captured on existing stud book and microchipping databases. The regulations will support the Board in its ambition to establish and maintain a new comprehensive tracing database for racing greyhounds.
The Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 provides that only progeny produced in compliance a part 11 of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 (i.e. 1st to 6th litter or 7th and 8th following certification) are permitted to be registered in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book and makes it an offence for a person to attempt to register litters not in compliance with the Act.
Health & Welfare
The Board may make regulations for the health and welfare of a greyhound including requiring those involved to provide information for the sound administration of the industry and to protect the health and welfare of greyhounds. It allows the Board to set down provisions for the treatment of diseased and injured greyhounds and the establishment of funds to protect the health and welfare of a greyhound.
The Boards may grant or refuse licenses, to attach conditions to licenses, permits and approvals, make charges for the grant and renewal of licenses etc and to revoke or suspend such licenses. The fair procedures to be followed, including the right to reply, where the Board refuses, revokes or suspends a license etc is provided for.
There are provisions for the appointment, investigatory powers and functions of authorised officers. This is the first time the appointment of authorised officers for the purposes of greyhound legislation has been provided for in primary legislation. It provides amplified powers for authorised officers to investigate matters including investigating the use of performance altering substances.
Subject to the jurisdiction of the District Court authorised officers may seek a search warrant to search a domestic dwelling, where the authorised officer believes that there may be evidence of a breach or an intended breach of the racing code or of the commission or intended commission of an offence under the Greyhound Industry Acts.
There are obligation on persons to provide assistance to and follow the directions of authorised officers when carrying out their functions under the Act including a requirement to produce a greyhound at a specific time and place. In addition it is being made a criminal offence to obstruct, fail to give information, to give false information or to fail to provide assistance or follow the direction of an authorised officer when carrying out his/her functions. The standard provisions regarding self incrimination are provided for.
There are procedures for the conduct of investigations by the Board and permits the Board to notify the Club where there is a possibility that matters known to it may be of concern to the Club. The Act sets down the classes of people who are subject to the jurisdiction of the Control and Appeal Committees. It also states that the determination of Racing sanctions rests with these Committees.
The 2019 Act provides for the establishment by statute of the Control Committee and details its operations. The Control Committee will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of 8 other members to ensure that there is a sufficient pool of members to deal promptly with control matters.
The Control Committee will require a quorum of the Chairperson (or deputy chairperson) and two other members. Appointments to the committee are by the Minister for a maximum of two terms. The Chair has a term of 5 years with ordinary members having a term of 4 years.
There are fair procedures in relation to hearings of the Control Committee. It specifically provides that decisions may be made in absentia in respect of persons who fail to attend the Control Committee.
The 2019 Act provides for details of the Racing sanctions which may be applied by the Control Committee and Appeal Committee. Racing sanctions may be advice, admonishment or censure, the disqualification of greyhounds or the exclusion of individuals from racing activities or the revocation or suspension of licences or permits.
In addition a person may be required to pay a sum not exceeding €12,500 to the Board in certain circumstances, including where the person has an adverse analytical finding for a prohibited or controlled substance.
It provides that a person who fails to make a payment shall not be permitted to train, transfer ownership of, race greyhounds or attend at a greyhound race track until the amount is paid in full. It also provides for the publication of the names of those who have failed to pay a sanction payment.
There is provision for disqualification orders. Prior to the 2019 Act the Board might issue a disqualification order in respect of a greyhound for breach of the Racing code. Such disqualification orders apply to racing and trials only. Some individuals have circumvented these orders by transferring ownership.
Disqualification orders issued by the Control Committee or the Appeal Committee are racing sanctions and disqualify greyhounds from racing and trials and circumvention of the order is prevented by extending the potential restriction to transferring ownership of the greyhound and use of the greyhound for breeding purposes. The disqualification order can be for a specific period and the terms and conditions for revocation or variation of the order will be specified at the time of making of the order.
There is provision the exclusion of individuals from certain activities relating to racing greyhounds. This power currently rests with the Board or the Club however under this Act, power to issue an exclusion order is limited to the Control Committee and the Appeal Committee. In addition it is now possible to specify a time period for which the order applies and the terms and conditions for revocation or variation of the order will be specified at the time of making.
Non-compliance with an Exclusion order is a criminal offence. The Club will issue its own orders under its rules. This section also provides explicitly that the Committee is independent in the exercise of its functions and requires the committee to publish its decisions.
It a criminal offence for a person who is intoxicated or aggressive to refuse to leave a track or sale when required to do so.
There are procedures for appeals in respect of Racing sanctions or payments imposed by the Control Committee.
There is a single avenue of appeal for decisions in relation to sanctions and payments imposed by the Control Committee following the abolition of the current Control Appeal Committee established under Regulation 10 of the Greyhound Industry (Control Committee and Control Appeal Committee) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 301 of 2007). The Appeal Committee retains its function in respect of appeals under section 51 of the Principal Act from decisions of the Board.
In the interests of good governance it imposes a maximum of 2 consecutive terms on committee members. It also provides that the Board will pay the remuneration and expenses of Appeal Committee members and will provide secretarial services to the committee.
There are procedures for appeals in respect of sanctions or payments imposed by the Control Committee and is a re-casting of existing provisions of the Principal Act. There are provisions for the communication of decisions of the Control Committee and the Appeal Committee to the individual concerned. The Act also provides for the staying of sanctions and payments while the situation is under appeal. An exception applies to decisions in relation to adverse analytical findings where sanctions are effective immediately.
There is an appeal to the District Court for findings of the Appeal Committee in relation to Exclusion Orders and/or Sanction payments. Appeals in relation to Sanction payments are limited to the quantum of the sum. It also provides that the District Court may grant a stay on the application of the relevant determination of the Appeal Committee.
There is provision for evidential certificates issued by testing laboratories in the case of adverse analytical findings. The 2019 Act updatesof fines generally, the modernisation of wording and the deleting of sections of the Principal Act which are no longer relevant.