THE IRISH GREYHOUND Board (IGB) has confirmed that many greyhound owners and trainers have pulled their dogs out of races in recent weeks due to an outbreak of kennel cough.
The IGB was responding to a statement from animal rights group AFAR, which said tracks were issuing calls for help in a bid to fill competitions.
A spokesperson for the IGB said it is common for owners and trainers to enter greyhounds in events at a very late stage and said racing managers would then use the forum section of the board’s website to let people know places were still available in certain sweeps.
The IGB spokesperson said an issue that has affected tracks in recent weeks is the kennel cough virus and owners and trainers the length and breadth of the country have pulled their greyhounds out of competitive action.
“The reason for this is twofold, it prevents the virus from spreading at the track and it ensures that the welfare of the greyhound is not compromised by competing with the virus,” the spokesperson said.
Though the virus is not a major health concern, the spokesperson said it spreads rapidly and it can take more than a week for a dog to recover.
The IGB said the outbreak was temporary and all twelve sweepstakes recently advertised still had the requisite number of entries.