At least 283 greyhounds injured, 96 killed at Irish tracks in 2017


Greyhounds are continuing to suffer and die in Ireland’s cruel greyhound racing industry, shocking new statistics reveal.

The Irish Greyhound Board’s dog death data was furnished to Clare Daly, TD [1] in response to an Irish Parliamentary Question. It shows that in the first ten months of 2017, 283 greyhounds suffered injuries at tracks around the country. The greyhounds sustained injuries to their legs, wrists, shoulders, backs, tails, muscles and toes. A total of 96 of these dogs were destroyed at the tracks.

View the statistics here, or download as a PDF.

The latest figures follow similarly horrifying information published in the Irish Examiner in November, which confirmed that in 2016, 427 greyhounds suffered on-track injuries and a total of 139 greyhounds were put down.

In addition, an estimated 10,000 greyhounds disappear every year in the greyhound industry – most likely killed when found to be not quick enough to win races. Others are dumped or exported abroad to countries with little or no animal welfare standards.

These appalling statistics, and the suffering they reflect, make it clear that greyhound racing should now be ended in Ireland, and that the government must immediately stop propping up the industry with millions of euros of taxpayers’ money.

In December, Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s house of representatives, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Regulations 2017, channeling €80 million euros of taxpayer money into the two industries. €16 million euros went to the Irish Greyhound Board, and another €64 million to Horse Racing Ireland, bringing to over one billion euros the amount paid out since 2001. The regulations passed with the support of 85 TDs (mostly Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour), and 33 opposed.

It is an outrage that these politicians have turned a blind eye to the well-documented animal cruelty and killing in the greyhound and horse racing industries, and chosen to squander scarce public funds in this way. It is a particularly deplorable move at a time when our country’s health and housing is in crisis and so many worthy causes are crying out for funds.

On the positive side, the number of TDs who voted in favour of the funding has fallen by nearly 20 per cent compared to last year, when 105 TDs approved the funding. This shows that mounting public pressure against horse and greyhound racing is paying off, albeit slowly.

With ongoing revelations about cruelty and killing in the Irish greyhound industry, most people and companies no longer want anything to do with greyhound racing. This is evident in the fact that, along with a 50 per cent fall in track attendance in recent years, there has been a massive 58 per cent drop in sponsorship. As a result, the industry is desperately targeting charities, sports clubs and schools to organise fundraisers at tracks.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports continues to appeal to the public to stay away from tracks, to companies to stop sponsoring races, and to schools and sports clubs to stop fundraising at tracks. Watch and share our campaign video below:

[1] Teachta Dála, member of Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s representative house of Parliament

Featured image: racing greyhound in Dublin kennel. Credit Alan Markey, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

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Campaigning for an end to bloodsports in Ireland. Click to see author's profile.

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