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Irish Greyhound Board 'strongly condemns actions of minority in industry'

Minister of State Andrew Doyle said that he had “deep concerns” about the industry, and that all allegations will be examined.

Image: Shutterstock/EcoPrint

THE IRISH GREYHOUND Board has strongly condemned the actions outlined by RTÉ Prime Time Investigates which indicated that thousands of greyhounds were killed in 2017 because they weren’t fast enough.

The report claimed that the Irish 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.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle – who has special responsibility for the greyhound sector – expressed his deep concern at the revelations in Prime Time. 

Minister Doyle said: “The Department takes any allegations of breaches of animal welfare rules very seriously and will thoroughly investigate and take the necessary enforcement actions to deal with such offences.”

Greyhound racing is set to receive €16.8 million in funding this year with supports coming from the Department of Agriculture. 

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the IGB said that it “strongly condemned” the practices outlined in Prime Time, “which highlighted the actions of a minority within the industry”.

“The introduction of a traceability system is provided for in the Greyhound Racing Act 2019, which was signed into law last month. The IGB is on the record as being fully supportive of such measures.”

Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan said: “We completely condemn the deplorable actions towards greyhounds highlighted in the RTÉ broadcast.”

“When the Greyhound Racing Act is in full effect, it will add to existing legislation and ensure that the racing greyhound is the most regulated of all canine breeds in Ireland. The IGB is fully supportive of these measures.”

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CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, said: “Any person who knowingly harms a greyhound brings shame upon our industry. The IGB will continue to investigate any matters brought to its attention.

Any situations where it is alleged a breach of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 has occurred should be brought to the attention of the IGB. Thousands of greyhound owners across the country treat their dogs impeccably before, during and after their racing life. 

A total of 73 successful prosecutions have been taken under the Act since it was brought in, with a further 30 prosecution files currently being processed for welfare abuses. 

Minister Andrew Doyle said that his department is engaging in a review of the licensing conditions in knackeries, with regard to practices seen on RTÉ, and that all allegations will be examined to determine the appropriate actions.

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