Motion to phase out greyhound racing funding to be put to Dáil this week 2 months ago

Motion to phase out greyhound racing funding to be put to Dáil this week

The industry is set to receive an increase in funding next year.

A motion to phase out greyhound racing funding is to be put to the Dáil this week.

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Brought forward by the Social Democrats, the motion will seek to reverse the state funding received by the industry and increase the support of greyhound welfare.

Last year, RTÉ documentary Running For Their Lives detailed the cruelty that racing dogs are subjected to in the industry, with hundreds of greyhounds being put down every year.

State funding to the greyhound racing industry is due to rise from €16 million to €19.2 million in 2021 - an increase of almost €2.4 million amid the current economic and social issues caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

TD Holly Cairns told Newstalk today that the motion will phase out state funding and increase funding for greyhound welfare.

"Through an RTÉ documentary we learned that 16,000 dogs are born every year to support the industry," she said. "Almost 6,000 of those dogs are killed because they failed to make qualification times or their performance has declined.

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"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."

Cairns pointed to essential services that have struggled with funding before and during the pandemic, such as domestic abuse services and disability support.

Ahead of the motion, which is expected to be put to the Dáil tomorrow (Wednesday), she also urged the public to contact their local TD and ask for their support.

"The Irish greyhound sector has received approximately 280 million in government funding since 2000," she said. "Commercial greyhound racing now only takes place in the US, the UK, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, China, Vietnam and Ireland."

A 2019 Red C poll show that just 16% of people agree that Ireland's greyhound racing industry should receive funding from the government.

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