Thursday 18 July 2019

Thousands of 'slow' greyhounds are illegally killed each year, RTÉ claims

Stock picture: Sportsfile
Stock picture: Sportsfile

Allison Bray

Almost 6,000 underperforming greyhounds are being killed in this country every year, with dogs being shot for as little as €10, a shocking documentary reveals.

An investigation into the industry, which received €16.8m in Government funding this year, reported that 16,000 greyhounds are born in this country each year.

According to a business analysis report from 2017, which was commissioned by the Irish Greyhound Board, some 5,987 of these are killed because they fail to make qualification times or their performance declines.

'RTÉ Investigates' laid bare the massive over-breeding in the industry as it reported it is estimated that 1,000pc more dogs are bred each year than are needed to sustain the industry.

The documentary 'Greyhounds, Running for Their Lives' revealed how half of the 30 licensed Irish knackeries contacted said they'd be willing to kill greyhounds for as little as €10 to €35 each.

In shocking undercover footage, the programme shows four greyhounds being killed and dumped in a skip.

In one disturbing scene, a dog is seen writhing in agony after being shot with a single bullet to the back of the head.

This is despite assertions by the Department of Agriculture - which licenses and polices knackeries - that "dogs, including greyhounds, are classified as a Category 1 animal and cannot enter a Category 2 plant (knackery), dead or alive. Euthanasia of greyhounds or other animals … is not approved", according to RTÉ.

The programme also explores how the Dáil was told that just six greyhounds were exported to China since 2016 despite evidence of 20 Irish greyhounds being sent there, where they have ended up in breeding labs to source dogs for the underground dog-racing scene there.

Irish Independent

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