THE PLIGHT OF IRISH GREYHOUNDS
The greyhound has a long and distinguished association with Ireland and played a major role in the life of the early Celts. The hound of the Celt accompanied his master to battle and fought at his side. He was his faithful companion known as the Cu Dilish in Gaelic. After battle, the Celtic greyhound shared the victory feast and invariably shared his master's bed.
Sadly this is no longer the case The downfall of the Irish greyhound began in the 1920s when betting turned the greyhound into a profitable business. From then on, the social decline of this proud and gentle breed was sealed.
Greyhounds were degraded to pure tools - racing machines - being of interest to their owners only as long as they were winners.
GREYHOUNDS AS A 'COMMODITY'
Today Ireland produces more greyhounds than any other country in the world, and every decision in an Irish greyhound's life is conditioned by economics. Greyhounds are treated as disposable commodities. Each and every year thousands of Irish greyhounds are destroyed because they do not make the grade as racing dogs or they are past their best for racing (usually by the age of four).
If it is too slow as a pup it will be put down. If it gets injured while racing, it will be similarly discarded; many young racing greyhounds sustain trauma to the smaller limb joints, e.g. wrist, hock and toes and this can finish their racing life before they reach two years of age. Dogs that are no longer competitive and not suitable for breeding are often abandoned, put down or exported.
Many "poor quality" greyhounds are unlucky enough to finish their days in Spain, being used for straight racing (a form of coursing) under horrific conditions. Irish greyhounds are also used for breeding into the Spanish strain of greyhound, the Galgo, to produce a faster coursing Galgo.
Dogs which turn out to he no good are often brutally disposed of, with hanging being a favourite method.
In Ireland, the greyhound "industry" is regulated by Bord na gCon (The Irish Greyhound Board) . This state funded organisation regulates the destruction of thousands of Irish greyhounds are destroyed through "natural wastage" i.e. injuries and diseases. This figure does not include the initial cull of young dogs that are not registered.
Of those who do not make it to the racetrack, many are destroyed each year with some abandoned or sold on as "poor quality" dogs at the many greyhound auctions held at the greyhound tracks all around Ireland. Some are exported to countries will little or no animal welfare laws and there is no systemic traceability on what happens to these dogs.
A small percentage are taken in by Irish welfare groups, who do their best to find loving homes for them.
As the Irish public are only slowly realising the greyhound's potential as a wonderful family pet, Irish rescues rely currently heavily on overseas adoptions.
If, like us, you are sickened that in the 21st Century Irish society and especially the Irish Government not only condones but funds (to the tune of €16.m in 2019) an activity causing untold distress pain and misery to animals then SHOUT! Help us out. You can help in the following ways
Call out your local TD/ Councillor. Ask him or her straight up why does the Irish state fund this barbaric activity while underfunding welfare organisations.
Boycott Greyhound Racing. Full Stop. If they dont make money they wont do it!
Protest. Check out our gallery here.
Donate. We will use every cent collected to further Animal Welfare