Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011

18.

Functions of welfare officers.

18.— (1) For the purposes of his or her functions under this Act, a welfare officer or member of the Garda Síochána may—

( a) subject to subsection (5) , enter and inspect at all reasonable times a premises—

(i) which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing are being used for the operation of a greyhound breeding establishment,

(ii) in respect of which an application has been made under section 12 , or

(iii) where he or she has reasonable grounds for believing a greyhound is kept, traded, bred, reared, trained, raced or coursed,

( b) examine a greyhound or animal feed, a vessel, vehicle, container or other thing used in connection with a greyhound,

( c) require—

(i) the operator of a greyhound breeding establishment,

(ii) an applicant for registration under section 12 , or

(iii) a person on the premises,

to produce to the welfare officer or member such books, records, or other documents (and in the case of documents or records stored in non-legible form, produce to him or her a legible reproduction of them) or any such equipment or machinery that are in that person’s possession or procurement, or under the person’s control, as the officer or member may reasonably require,

( d) inspect and take copies of, any books, records, or other documents (including books, records, or documents stored in non-legible form) or extracts from them, that he or she finds in the course of his or her inspection,

( e) inspect any equipment or machinery used in connection with a greyhound, or

( f) require—

(i) the operator of a greyhound breeding establishment,

(ii) an applicant for registration under section 12 , or

(iii) a person on the premises,

to give the welfare officer or member such information and assistance and answer such questions as the welfare officer or member may reasonably require.

(2) For the purposes of his or her functions under this Act, a welfare officer or member of the Garda Síochána may require a person in control of a greyhound in a public place to permit the greyhound to be examined by the officer, member or a veterinary practitioner.

(3) A welfare officer or a member of the Garda Síochána may require a person to give information regarding the ownership and identity of a greyhound or animal feed or drink, ownership of a vessel, vehicle, container, equipment, machinery or other relevant thing relating to a greyhound as is in the person’s knowledge or procurement.

(4) Where a welfare officer or member of the Garda Síochána has reasonable grounds for believing that—

( a) an offence is being or has been committed under this Act,

( b) there has been a contravention of this Act or regulations under this Act, or

( c) there may be evidence relating to such an offence or contravention,

the officer or member may, in addition to the powers exercisable by him or her under subsection (1) or (2)

(i) search a vehicle, container or vessel where the officer or member considers it necessary and require a person in charge or control of the vessel, vehicle or container to refrain from moving it and to give information concerning its destination,

(ii) take samples from a greyhound, animal feed or drink or an article relating to a greyhound, substance or liquid as he or she may reasonably require and carry out or cause to be carried out on a sample such tests, analyses, examinations or inspections as he or she considers necessary or expedient and mark or otherwise identify the sample, or

(iii) remove any equipment or machinery, books, documents or records and detain them for such period as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act.

(5) When performing a function under this Act, a welfare officer or member of the Garda Síochána may, subject to any warrant under section 19 , be accompanied by such number of other persons as he or she considers appropriate and may take with him or her, or those persons may take with them, any equipment or materials to assist the officer or member in the exercise of the function.

(6) A welfare officer or a member of the Garda Síochána shall not enter a dwelling, other than—

( a) with the consent of the occupier, or

( b) pursuant to a warrant under section 19 .

(7) A welfare officer or member of the Garda Síochána may, if necessary to enter a premises to exercise his or her powers under this section, use reasonable force.

(8) Where in the course of exercising any powers under this Act a welfare officer or a member of the Garda Síochána finds or comes into possession of any thing that the officer or member believes to be evidence of any offence under, or a contravention of, this Act, the officer or member may seize and retain it for use in evidence in proceedings under this Act.

(9) A member of the Garda Síochána may stop a vehicle or vessel for the purposes of this section and may require it to be moved for inspection to such place as he or she directs.