Four Irish greyhound tracks to lose funding following independent review

Four Irish greyhound tracks to lose funding following independent review

THE IRISH Greyhound Board have released a statement confirming that four of their racing stadiums are to lose funding following an independent review.

The review, undertaken by Indecon Economic Consultants and engaged by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) found that the current infrastructure of the greyhound sector was unsustainable and that a massive overhaul was needed to ensure the industry survives.

Support and attendance of the competitive sport has dropped in Ireland following a documentary by RTÉ which revealed, among other things, that almost 6,000 greyhounds a year are killed for 'being too slow'.

The IGB have said that they accept and will implement the recommendations from the independent review, which includes targeted investment in animal welfare and ending the funding of four racing stadiums in Eniscorthy, Lifford, Longford and Youghal.

The Board released a statement in which they promised to make significant progress in the area of animal welfare, such as by implementing the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 which will "include the welfare of greyhounds as one of the statutory functions of the IGB for the first time".

The IGB estimate that they will spend over €3 million on welfare and regulation in 2020, and have organised a scheme for the foster care and retirement of greyhounds as well as a confidential Greyhound Care Line where members of the public can report welfare concerns.

CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, said of the review:

“This review, which forms part of the IGB’s five year strategic plan, will progress the industry’s footprint for the future.

"The greyhound industry, like many other industries, has to change and adapt to maintain viability for future generations. The report that has been published today, and which has been accepted by the Board of the IGB gives a road map to underpin a viable long term sustainable industry for people to participate in and enjoy.

"I acknowledge that the report will make difficult reading for the passionate greyhound community, particularly those who are employed in, race greyhounds or attend greyhound racing in any of the stadia where the cessation of funding is recommended. It is important that members of the public, both inside and outside of the industry, have a chance to assess the outcome of the independent study and express their views before the recommendations are implemented.”