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Members of the American-European Greyhound Alliance protest at the Irish consulate in Boston yesterday. American-European Greyhound Alliance
Animal Welfare

Demonstrators picket Irish embassies over greyhound exports

The American-European Greyhound Alliance says surplus Irish greyhounds are mistreated and eaten after export to China.

A GROUP OF animal welfare protesters picketed the Irish embassy in London, and the consulate in Boston yesterday – St Patrick’s Day – demonstrating against plans to export Irish greyhounds to China, where they may be beaten.

The American-European Greyhound Alliance have condemned proposals by the Irish Greyhound Board to export surplus dogs to Asia, saying the board is motivated “only by money”.

The Irish greyhound industry, they say, has been overbreeding in spite of falling demand for racers – with the result that many of the 24,000 puppies registered in Ireland last year could be sent abroad.

In China, those dogs could be subjected to inhumane treatment, unacceptable transport conditions and ultimate slaughter – or even be skinned alive and eaten as meat, they claim.

In 2009, an alliance spokeswoman added, one Chinese city alone chose to kill 36,000 stray dogs rather than try to find them new homes. Animals killed for their meat are often abused significantly in order to tenderise their meat before they are killed.

A further protest will take place tomorrow at the Millennium Spire on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.