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Twelve Irish-trained greyhounds discovered in cages with no food or water at Dublin Port

Nine of the 12 dogs have raced in the last month

One of the seized dogs.
One of the seized dogs.
Image: DSPCA

THE DSPCA SAID it has rescued 12 greyhounds which were seized by Revenue officials at Dublin Port over the weekend. 

The dogs were being transported in a Spanish registered vehicle in cramped conditions with cages stacked on top of each other or piled with other boxed goods. 

They were being transported two dogs to a cage and three of the containers were not accessible without unloading the rest of the vehicle. 

Ten of the animals were wearing muzzles at the time, the DSPCA added.

They had no access to food or water and it is estimated that they would have been in transit for over 24 hours before arriving at their Spanish destination.

Following examination by DSPCA vets, several of the dog were discovered to have minor injuries and elevated body temperatures. All of the dogs were showing signs of dehydration. 

Paperwork accompanying the dogs show that all dogs are registered with the Irish Greyhound Stud Book and originate from dog trainers in Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Wexford, according to the DSPCA. Records also show that nine of the 12 dogs have raced in the last month, 1 raced last in 2016 and two have no race records recorded, the charity said.

The DSPCA said it is appalled by the “barbaric treatment of these animals despite the revelations seen in RTE’s Primetime programme Greyhounds Running for their Lives and the assurances given by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) since the programme that measures were being taken to address animal welfare issues in their industry”.

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

RTÉ’s report was based on a review by consultancy firm Preferred Results Ltd on behalf of the Irish Greyhound Board carried out in September 2017. It 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.

“This seizure flies in the face of the illusion being created by IGB that animal welfare is being taken seriously. The continuing grant of €16.8 million of taxpayers money is no longer acceptable” said DSPCA CEO Brian Gillen. 

“The DSPCA are calling on Minister Creed to withdraw all funding allocation to the greyhound industry in Budget 2020.”

In a statement this evening, the Irish Greyhound Board said: “The IGB has been made aware this afternoon of an incident at Dublin Port and our welfare department has begun a full investigation.

“The IGB condemns any mistreatment of greyhounds in the highest possible terms.

“Any person or persons found to have been in breach of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 have been and will continue to be subject to prosecution.”

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