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Irish Greyhound Board promises reforms in wake of RTÉ documentary revelations

The new measures come following claims that thousands of greyhounds were killed in 2017 for not being fast enough.

Image: Gerken Ernst//Shutterstock

TOUGHER INSPECTIONS AND funding for injured greyhounds have all been promised by the Irish Greyhound Board following an RTÉ investigation that indicated that thousands of greyhounds were killed in 2017 because they weren’t fast enough.

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. 

Today, the board of the Irish Greyhound Board approved new measures it said would help stifle illegal activity and help protect greyhound welfare in the industry. 

Among the range of reforms approved is the introduction of a greyhound injury support scheme to provide financial assistance to injured greyhounds as well as a commitment to provide increased support for the board’s greyhound foster scheme.

Its inspection regime will also be “intensified”, the board said. 

The board also said that it would revise the industry’s code of practice on the care and welfare of greyhounds to address all issues with the retirement and transportation of greyhounds.

On Thursday, the Irish Greyhound Board told TheJournal.ie that it strongly condemned the practices outlined in the Prime Time programme and said it represented “a minority within the industry”. 

The Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, re-iterated those comments today.

“The actions evident by an irresponsible minority within the greyhound industry have no place in this sport and will not be tolerated. The IGB will continue to work with all agencies to ensure that such illegal activity is rooted out and those responsible are subject to prosecution for breaches of the law,” he said in a statement.

Nyhan also promised more regulation for the greyhound racing sector, which is set to receive €16.8 million in funding this year with supports coming from the Department of Agriculture. 

Other measures set to be introduced include putting in law the requirement that euthanasia of a greyhound must be carried out by a veterinary practitioner – something already required by the industry’s code of practice – and the establishment of a phone line to encourage reporting of welfare violations. 

The Board said it will also carry out an “indepth” review of the Prime Time programme and will be requesting more evidence from RTÉ so that “any breaches of the law can be pursued”. 

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