Calls to ban Government funding of greyhound racing ahead of planned €19 million grant

Calls to ban Government funding of greyhound racing ahead of planned €19 million grant

A MOTION to phase out the Government funding of greyhound racing is to be put to the Dáil later this week ahead of a planned €19 million grant to the industry.

The motion, brought forward by the Social Democrats, would put a stop the Government funding of the sport, which receives tens of millions of euro each year.

Greyhound racing has long been the centre of criticism from animal welfare groups, who say the sport is inherently cruel, and last year an RTÉ documentary entitled 'Running For Their Lives' thrust the reality of the sport into the public eye, with thousands now calling for it to be banned.

The documentary revealed how up to 6,000 greyhounds are put down each year for being too slow, and how dogs are being doped with illegal drugs to enhance their performance.

According to the documentary, an estimated 16,000 greyhounds are born in Ireland each year, of which 5,987 are killed because they fail to make qualification times or their performances decline.

It also estimated that 1,000% more pups are bred than are actually needed to race.

A recent RTÉ documentary revealed that almost 6,000 greyhounds are killed each year.

The industry has received more than 250 million in Government funding since 2001, with 16.8 million given last year.

This year, the Government is planning to give an enhanced budget to the industry, at 19.2 million-- in comparison, the Government has granted 1.6 million to be shared between 71 zoos in Ireland to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns confirmed the party will put forward a motion to the Dáil later this week which would seek a ban on the Government funding of the industry.

Ms Cairns spoke to Newstalk where she said it was wrong for the Government to be funding the sport, particularly in a pandemic where so many businesses are suffering, and essential services such as domestic abuse support are struggling.

"Basically, the industry kills almost 6,000 dogs annually for not racing fast enough, and our government funds this-- not just every year but in the middle of a pandemic," she said.

The Social Democrats TD took to Twitter where she urged people to contact their local TD and encourage them to support the upcoming motion to ban Government funding for the greyhound racing industry.

"We need to phase out state funding for the greyhound racing "industry."," she wrote.

"Please email your local TDs to let them know and to ask them to support this motion."

You can find out more about the campaign here.