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    Puppy farm capital of Europe
Puppy farm capital of Europe

Puppy farm capital of Europe

In a meeting of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, TD Neasa Hourigan expressed concerns that Greyhound Racing in Ireland is primarily a breeding industry rather than a racing one. She highlighted the disproportionate number of greyhounds bred in Ireland compared to those that actually enter races, citing statistics that showed a significant increase in the number of greyhounds born in Ireland in recent years.

Hourigan questioned the representatives from Greyhound Racing Ireland about the breeding practices and financial aspects of the industry. She criticised the lack of clarity in their responses and suggested that the industry's focus on breeding was more about supplying dogs to the UK's gambling industry rather than promoting racing in Ireland.

Despite efforts by Greyhound Racing Ireland's head of regulation to emphasise the organisation's commitment to improving standards and welfare for greyhounds, Hourigan raised concerns about the high number of greyhound pups that do not progress to racing trials, some of which may experience unfortunate accidents or fatalities during rearing.

Interim CEO John Tuohey presented positive financial results for Greyhound Racing Ireland, noting an increase in race meetings, individual races, and attendance in 2021 compared to the previous year. The organisation reported an operating surplus and increased turnover, with higher prize money pay-outs and improved financial stability.

Tuohey also highlighted the continued focus on the care and welfare of greyhounds as a top priority for the Board, with increased expenditure in this area. He acknowledged progress in addressing financial deficits and reported a positive financial position for Greyhound Racing Ireland at the end of 2021.

Overall, the concerns raised by Hourigan shed light on the complexities of the greyhound racing industry in Ireland, particularly regarding breeding practices, financial sustainability, and welfare considerations for the dogs involved.

Image Source: Midjourney

Process of greyhound breeding 

Greyhounds in Ireland are typically raised on breeding farms or in kennels specialised for greyhound rearing. They are often born in breeding facilities where they receive care from dedicated staff. The rearing process involves feeding, exercise, socialisation, and basic training to prepare the greyhounds for future racing or breeding purposes.

While efforts are made to ensure the well-being of the greyhounds, accidents or fatalities during the rearing process can occur, as highlighted in discussions at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee. The industry needs to continue evaluating and improving standards to enhance the welfare and safety of the greyhounds throughout their upbringing.

Overall, the rearing of greyhounds in Ireland involves a combination of professional care, training, and attention to their physical and mental well-being to prepare them for potential careers in racing or breeding.

Image Source: Midjourney


New owners- violent treatment 

Greyhound breeders are exporting Irish dogs to Pakistan, China and Argentina via the UK and other EU states. Thus, a large number of dogs are then subjected to horrific abuse due to a lack of animal welfare legislation in those countries.

Thousands of puppies, each worth hundreds of euros, are shipped to British ports every year as part of a grisly cloak-and-dagger export trade.

Many of the animals are hidden in the back of vans and cars before being moved on to mainland Europe.

The Department of Agriculture is able to track the movement of dogs within the EU but it cannot follow them once they are transported on to a third country.

Many are used as pets but Irish greyhounds have ended up in the possession of foreign buyers who use them for blood sports, such as coursing.

Animal welfare groups are calling on the Government to introduce legislation that will limit the countries to which dogs can be exported.

As greyhound racing is illegal in Argentina, there are no animal welfare standards to be adhered to once the dogs arrive there.

Pakistan, where videos have emerged online of greyhounds being abused at meetings, has very limited protection for animals.

A number of major international airlines, including Qantas and Cathay Pacific, have refused to transport greyhounds to China after it was discovered that dogs running at the notorious Canidrome track in Macau were being abused and killed if they failed to finish in the top three consistently.

Evidence of such abuse includes dogs being thrown into boiling water and skinned dog carcasses being sold in Macau.

Ireland's high volume of dog breeding, particularly in substandard facilities known as "puppy farms," has raised alarms within animal welfare circles. However, the government has not provided a specific timeline for implementing proposed laws on kennel standards and exercise areas, leaving concerns about the well-being of dogs in these facilities unaddressed.


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