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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 17°C
# Greyhounds
Irish Greyhound Board announces fund to help with rehoming, injury support and care centres
An RTÉ documentary claimed in June that almost 6,000 greyhounds are killed in Ireland every year.

THE IRISH GREYHOUND Board (IGB) has announced a care fund dedicated to initiatives such as re-homing, injury support, care centres and traceability systems. 

The target for the care fund in the first year is to provide a ring fenced sum of €1 million solely dedicated to care and welfare initiatives for the racing greyhound. 

Based on 2019 budget and activity levels, the IGB said the funding will accrue from the following sources:

  • Attendance income and restaurant packages – 10% of all admissions and restaurant packages will be assigned to the care fund. (€400,000)
  • Tote income – 5% of net tote income will be assigned to the care fund. (€300,000)
  • Sponsorship income – The IGB will engage with sponsors with a view to up to 50% of existing sponsorship being assigned directly to the care fund. It is estimated that this will yield €300,000 on the basis of existing sponsorship agreements. Prize money associated with existing sponsorship arrangements will be maintained at current levels, the IGB said.

The IGB said the above will require adjustments to its current expenditure and to various cost centres to compensate for the redistribution of income. 

The separate care fund arrangements for patrons will be brought into effect from 1 November 2019.

Separately, the IGB is announcing a scheme to provide funding for the treatment of greyhounds which have been injured at its licenced stadia.

The introduction of the Injuries at Tracks Recovery Scheme is open to all owners and trainers who have incurred veterinary costs in the treatment of greyhounds to repair a career-ending orthopaedic (bone) injury sustained at an IGB licenced stadium.

Applications will be assessed on the basis that the greyhound will immediately retire from competitive action (trials and races) following its treatment. 

The scheme is effective from 1 August 2019 and applications can be made on the approved form to the IGB Regulation Department, Green Park, Dock Road, Limerick.

The IGB also announced last month that it is seeking interest for the provision of greyhound care centres. The IGB has said the proposal is intended to help the transition of racing greyhounds from the track to retirement. 

Greyhound killing

Today’s announcement comes after a new RTÉ investigation claimed in June 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.”

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