A number of Fianna Fáil TDs have criticised aspects of a Government backed Bill to regulate dog breeding and the impact it will have on the greyhound racing industry.

At a packed Oireachtas Committee hearing today, former sports minister John O'Donoghue said there is a perception that the legislation is the thin end of a wedge targeting rural sporting activities.

He also said that the greyhound industry is already regulated by a 1958 Act and further legislation is not necessary.

Mr O'Donoghue said further consultation on the matter is needed before the Bill proceeds.

The Dog Breeding Bill is currently making its way through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

It is being opposed by the Fine Gael party and is also causing disquiet among the Fine Fáil backbenches.

FF's Christy O'Sullivan said amendments should be made to the Bill and described some aspects of the legislation as 'absolutely ridiculous'.

Party colleague Mattie McGrath asked Minister for the Environment John Gormley to 'get down off his high horse' and consult with interested groups on the Bill.

Former Green party minister Trevor Sargent defended the measures and said proper consultation had taken place.

He also said it was hardly acceptable that 10% of dogs euthanised are greyhounds. He said ignoring the problem is not going to address it.