Dogs Trust Ireland calls for an end to Greyhound Racing
We are calling for greyhound racing to come to an end, to put a stop to the unnecessary and completely preventable deaths of hundreds of dogs.
We, as well as other animal welfare organisations have been, as part of the International Greyhound Forum, working with the greyhound racing industry for many years to try to improve conditions for the dogs involved in the sport. While this has led to some welfare improvements being made, we believe there are still significant welfare issues for racing greyhounds which have not been resolved.
Greyhound racing is inherently dangerous for the dogs involved. Running at speed around oval tracks causes significant injury to many dogs, and in some cases the injuries are so severe that it is necessary to euthanise the dog. Greyhound Racing Ireland’s (GRI) own figures show that 2,146 greyhounds suffered injuries and 715 greyhounds were killed at Irish tracks, between 2015 and 2020. Last year alone,154 greyhounds died and a further 197 dogs were injured as a result of licensed greyhound racing in Ireland.
Comprehensive internal reviews conducted by Dogs Trust Ireland found that there are still significant welfare issues for greyhounds throughout every stage of their lives which have not been resolved. Despite GRI introducing a new traceability system, we still have serious concerns about the number of dogs who fall outside the scope of the new traceability system and are unaccounted for before and after their racing career.
The review also found there to be disjointed and ineffective regulation within the sector, a lack of transparency regarding industry practices, and additional concerns around the enforcement of regulatory standards.
We are calling on a phased end to allow the racing industry and animal welfare organisations to carefully prepare and coordinate an action plan for the many dogs who will be affected. We estimate that this could be feasible within a five-year period.
Suzie Carley, Executive Director at Dogs Trust Ireland explains: “The welfare of greyhounds has always been our priority. We’ve worked closely with the greyhound industry for many years to try to improve welfare conditions for the dogs, but progress has not been made quickly enough, or on a big enough scale. It is simply not acceptable that 869 greyhounds have died on racetracks in Ireland over the last six years, with 2,343 more injured, all in the name of entertainment.
We are fully committed to the welfare of all greyhounds affected by our call for a phased end to the sport. We will continue to work collaboratively with the industry and other stakeholders to ensure the welfare of dogs is not compromised while working towards this.”