Friday 23 August 2019

Barry's Tea scraps sponsorship of annual greyhound race in Cork

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Gabija Gataveckaite

Barry’s Tea has withdrawn its sponsorship of the annual greyhound race in Cork yesterday following recent revelations of alleged animal abuse.

An RTÉ Investigates programme, which aired last week, raised questions surrounding overbreeding and treatment of the greyhounds.

It also revealed that up to 6,000 greyhounds are killed each year for not being able to run fast enough.

"We were saddened and horrified by the recent revelations of the RTÉ Investigates programme, which raised concerns over the treatment of dogs within the greyhound industry in Ireland," Barry’s Tea said in a statement.

"On reflection, we have decided to withdraw our local sponsorship of the annual race in Curraheen Park, Cork."

The company withdrew its sponsorship yesterday, after reviewing the deal following calls made via social media to scrap the funding. 

It is the second company to withdraw sponsorship of the race.

FBD Insurance also withdrew its funding yesterday.

"Our only sponsorship of greyhound racing was a small sponsorship arrangement with Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium. Following the recent RTE Investigates programme, FBD has decided not to renew this," the company said in a statement.

"We look forward to the implementation of urgently needed animal welfare measures by the Government," the statement added.

In a statement, the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) thanked Barry’s Tea for their services.

"We sincerely thank Barry's Tea for their sponsorship over the years in support of the greyhound community and all who are passionate about greyhound racing.

"The welfare of greyhounds remains a priority for IGB and we will continue to build on the reforms within the sector over the last number of years," the statement added.

Last week, it condemned the "illegal practices" revealed in the programme and held a meeting last Friday where new measures were set out to tackle the issues raised in the programme.

Some of these measures include a greyhound injury support scheme, a code of practice for greyhound owners registered with the board and a free helpline to allow welfare breaches to be reported. 

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