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Irish Greyhound Board planning to set up care centres for dogs

An RTÉ documentary claimed last month that almost 6,000 greyhounds are killed in Ireland every year.

THE IRISH GREYHOUND Board (IGB) has announced that it is seeking interest for the provision of greyhound care centres. 

This measure was one of a range of proposals discussed at the IGB’s appearance at the Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine earlier this month. 

The IGB has said the proposal is intended to help the transition of racing greyhounds from the track to retirement. 

“The intended model of the care centre will provide high standard accommodation for greyhounds and contain house-training facilities to allow greyhounds to adapt to a range of different home environment,” the IGB said.

Visitor facilities will also form part of the care centre where potential adopters can become familiar with greyhounds prior to making the decision to adopt from the care centre.

A designated veterinary practitioner will also be required to provide 24 hour veterinary cover in the care centres.

Greyhound killing

The announcement comes after a new RTÉ investigation claimed last month that almost 6,000 greyhounds were killed for not racing fast enough in 2017. 

The RTÉ documentary claims that in 2017 a consultancy firm was paid €115,000 to carry out a review of the industry on behalf of the IGB.

The review found 16,000 greyhounds are born every year. It found that 5,987 of those are killed because they fail to make qualification times or their performance declines. 

The authors of the review also proposed reforms for greyhound racing, which the documentary claims weren’t adopted by the industry.

Chief executive of the Irish Greyhound Board Gerard Dollard told the documentary:

“I accept there is an issue in relation to unaccounted-for dogs. I think the figures that are being thrown out are, in fact, well in excess of what the actual figure is because of a number of exports to the UK and elsewhere.”

Speaking of the new proposed care centres, IGB welfare manager Barry Coleman said: “Greyhounds make fantastic pets and the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, established and operated by the Board, assisted in the rehoming of more than 1,000 retired greyhounds last year.

These care centres will ensure that retired greyhounds waiting for their ‘forever’ home will receive the highest standards of care.

“These care centres, along with our newly extended foster scheme and further financial supports for domestic rehomings, will ensure that as many retired Irish greyhounds as possible can find loving, forever homes after their racing careers come to an end.”

The IGB will seek expressions of interest through the E-Tenders platform with the final closing date for tenders on Friday, 27 September.

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