The Dáil has been told the Government will secure prosecutions where it can after last night's RTÉ Investigates programme on the greyhound industry.

The programme raised animal welfare issues relating to the overbreeding and subsequent treatment of greyhounds.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said new legislation had been introduced to change structures within the greyhound industry to ensure things such as traceability can be delivered

Speaking during Leaders' Questions, he said that while he has only seen clips of the programme, he expects when he sees the fill programme he will be "very angry".

The Tánaiste said if there are Irish greyhounds being sent to the UK to be exported to other parts of the world the Government will "shut that off".

Mr Coveney said last night's programme was a "wake-up call" that all was not right in the greyhound industry.

He was responding to Fianna Fáil's Dara Calleary, who said he wanted a "clear signal" from Government that this behaviour was not tolerable and would not be allowed to continue. 

Mr Calleary called for those involved in what he described as "disgraceful and disgusting" actions to be brought to justice.


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The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has also said it will consider inviting members of the Irish Greyhound Board before it in autumn.

The IGB has forwarded a report from 2017 to the PAC, which states that the organisation "could - within a short number of years - become a financially viable entity, drugs-free and with an impeccable record on animal welfare".

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said this pledge suggests that they are not financially viable or drug-free and do not have an impeccable record on animal welfare.

This morning, the chief executive of the IGB said that anyone who watched the programme last night would be horrified at the barbaric acts towards defenseless dogs shown on the programme.

However, Gerard Dollard said it was not reflective of the industry and the care and passion shown to greyhounds on a daily basis, but the actions of a minority in the industry.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he added that the euthanasia of healthy dogs was not acceptable and should only be carried out by a vet.

He said distressed staff had been contacting him since the programme aired.

The Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals has called on the Department of Agriculture to examine the animal welfare and export issues linked to the industry.

In a statement, the ISPCA also urged the Government to review funding to the industry given the governance issues highlighted.

That call was echoed by Sinn Féin's agriculture spokesperson, Martin Kenny, who said the people who are responsible for oversight in the greyhound industry must answer to the citizens for the expenditure of public funding.

Additional reporting Mary Regan