BARRY’S TEA has officially withdrawn its sponsorship from the greyhound racing industry amid concerns over animal welfare.
The decision comes in the wake of an RTÉ investigation revealing that up to 6,000 greyhounds are killed in Ireland every year because they fail to make qualification times for the sport.
The makers of RTÉ Investigates : Greyhounds, Running for Their Lives, found that of the 16,000 greyhounds born each year, on average 5,987 are killed for not being fast enough.
"We were saddened and horrified by the recent revelations of the RTÉ Investigates programme, which raised concerns over the treatment of dogs within the greyhound industry in Ireland,” a statement from Barry’s Tea read.
"On reflection, we have decided to withdraw our local sponsorship of the annual race in Curraheen Park, Cork."
The RTÉ investigation found a consultancy firm was paid €115,000 in 2017 to conduct a review of practices in the greyhound industry for the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB).
Many of the reforms outlined in the subsequent report have yet to be put in place.
Barry's Tea announced its decision with the following post on Twitter:
— Barry's Tea (@BarrysTeaTweets) July 2, 2019
The report was passed on to the Minister for Agriculture last month.
Speaking to RTÉ IGB chief executive Gerard Dollard argued that while here is a problem with greyhounds unaccounted for, he felt the figures quoted in the documentary were not accurate.
"I accept there is an issue in relation to unaccounted-for dogs," he said.
"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."
Following the documentary documentary’s broadcast, IGB issued the following statement:
"Any person who knowingly harms a greyhound brings shame upon our industry. The IGB will continue to investigate any matters brought to its attention."