|Greyhounds saved from smuggling ring
Twelve dogs have been saved from the Greyhound racing industry after they were discovered in the back of a van being smuggled from Ireland to Spain.
The dogs were discovered by officials at the Port of Dublin in the back of a van, cramped in cages and showing signs of dehydration.
Ten of the dogs were muzzled and they had no access to food and water for the 24-hour trip. A number of the cages were inaccessible without unloading the entire vehicle.
Nine of the dogs had raced in the last month, one had run in 2016 and two had never raced at all. All of them were registered in the Irish Stud Greyhound Book.
All the dogs are now in the care of the Dublin Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA). They found that some of the dogs had minor injuries and appeared to be dehydrated with increased temperatures.
Last year a number of sponsors of pulled out of supporting Irish Greyhound racing when an investigation revealed that dogs were being put to sleep because, ‚Äėthey were not fast enough.‚Äô
The RTE investigation revealed that 6,000 Greyhounds had been put down for not being fast enough. They also revealed that the industry was breeding 1,000 percent more puppies than it needed.
There have been calls for the government to end state funding of the Irish greyhound industry. The CEO of the DSPCA, Brian Gillen, said that the government‚Äôs ‚ā¨16.8 million support for the industry was, ‚Äėno longer acceptable.‚Äô
He said, ‚ÄėThis seizure flies in the face of the illusion being created by IGB (Irish Greyhound Board) that animal welfare is being taken seriously.
‚ÄėThe continuing grant of ‚ā¨16.8 million of taxpayers money is no longer acceptable,
‚ÄėThe DSPCA are calling on Minister Creed to withdraw all funding allocation to the greyhound industry in Budget 2020.‚Äô
After the RTE investigation Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, told the Irish Times the greyhound industry must reform itself if it is to continue to receive state funding, ‚ÄėIt is abundantly clear also that in terms of the State funding that‚Äôs available to the industry ‚Äď some ‚ā¨16 million ‚Äď there needs to be a significant reorientation of that funding away from breeding towards greyhound welfare.‚Äô
THE DSPCA said in a statement, ‚ÄėThe DSPCA are appalled by the barbaric treatment of these animals despite the revelations seen in RTE‚Äôs Primetime program ‚ÄúGreyhounds Running for their Lives‚ÄĚ and the assurances given by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) since the prime time programme that measures were being taken to address Animal welfare issues in their industry.‚Äô
They wrote on Facebook, ‚ÄėWe would ask that if you or anyone you know is considering or has planned Christmas/New Years or a Corporate Event at a Greyhound Track to please reconsider.‚Äô
Vet and activist Marc Abraham tweeted, ‚Äė12 Greyhounds Saved From Racing Industry While Being Smuggled From Ireland to Spain‚Äô Thanks @DublinSPCA for helping these poor dogs & to all campaign groups working tirelessly to end this cruel industry. Petition to sign & share too.‚Äô
The IGB recently stopped funding for four Greyhound tracks in Ireland after consultants recommended a radical overhaul of the Greyhound industry to help it survive.
Attendances at Greyhound racing in Ireland have fallen by 55% between 2008 and 2018 and there have been further declines since the RTE documentary in June 2019.
The report predicted that without IGB prize money contributions the combined loss for tracks will be ‚ā¨30.5 million.
Amongst its recommendations it said, ‚ÄėThere is a need to ensure sufficient investment is made in animal health and welfare and the effective monitoring of this. Concerns over this area has led to the banning of greyhound racing in some other countries.
‚ÄėIt is essential that the highest levels of animal welfare are maintained and this should be a priority for the sector. There is also a need for investment in marketing and infrastructure improvements to underpin a modernised sector.‚Äô