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Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Curraheen Park

Barry's Tea and FBD Insurance withdraw sponsorship of greyhound races after 'recent revelations'

A review of the industry from 2017 5,987 were killed for failing to make qualification times.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Jul 2019

BARRY’S TEA AND FBD Insurance have both withdrawn sponsorship of greyhound races following the revelations contained in an RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme last week.

Barry’s Tea was a sponsor of an annual race in Curraheen, Co Cork while FBD Insurance had a sponsorship agreement with Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium. 

The RTÉ programme claimed that the Irish greyhound industry is breeding 1,000% more puppies than it needs, leading to a cull of thousands of racing dogs every year.

A review of the industry from 2017 found that 16,000 greyhounds are born every year, and 5,987 of those are killed because they fail to make qualification times or their performance declines.

The revelations have put pressure on those who support the industry with the €16.8 million in funding from the Department of Agriculture this year being questioned.

Companies that sponsor greyhound racing events have also been pressured to stop doing so and Barry’s Tea was among the companies that has been responding to concerns online.

In a statement online last night, the tea-maker has said it will end its sponsorship of the annual greyhound race in Curraheen Park.

“We were saddened and horrified by the recent revelations of the RTÉ Investigates programme, which raised concerns over the treatment of dogs within the greyhound industry in Ireland,” Barry’s Tea said in a statement posted online.

“On reflection, we have decided to withdraw our local sponsorship of the annual race in Curraheen Park, Cork.”

FBD Insurance also posted a statement online in which it said it was looking forward to “urgently needed” reforms in the industry. 

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) previously said it “completely condemns” the actions revealed during the programme.

In a statement this evening, the IGB says it is working with sponsors to reaffirm “our strong commitment to the welfare of racing greyhounds”.

“The Irish Greyhound Board notes the decision of Barry’s Tea to discontinue their long-standing sponsorship at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium. We sincerely thank Barry’s Tea for their sponsorship over the years in support of the greyhound community and all who are passionate about greyhound racing,” the statement reads.

The IGB continues to engage with our sponsors on our strong commitment to the welfare of racing greyhounds, including an additional number of measures approved by the Board at a special meeting on Friday 28 June, 2019.

“The IGB is now arranging for the implementation of these schemes. The welfare of greyhounds remains a priority for IGB and we will continue to build on the reforms within the sector over the last number of years.”

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