Increased funding for sector flies in the face of public opinion 

The Government has failed to listen to animal welfare organisations by yet again increasing funding for the greyhound racing industry in this week’s budget, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns, who is the party’s spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said:

“While increased funding of €600,000 for greyhound racing may seem insignificant in the context of an overall €11 billion budget, it brings the sector’s annual State subvention to €18.2 million.

“Rather than throw more taxpayers’ money at this so-called sport, these funds should be ringfenced for animal welfare organisations or deserving charities, such as Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“In our alternative budget, the Social Democrats called for State funding for greyhound racing to be phased out over the next three years, with an annual reduction of between €6 million and €7 million between now and the end of the 33rd Dáil.

“It is deeply regrettable the Government did not take our proposal on board in this week’s budget. In fact, by increasing its funding by 3 percent, it has rewarded an industry that no longer enjoys public support. A Red C poll found that a vast majority of people don’t want greyhound racing funded by the public purse anymore.

“It is also significant that Dogs Trust has now called for a phased end to greyhound racing in Ireland. Despite working with the industry for many years to improve conditions for the dogs involved, the charity says there are welfare issues that have not been resolved.”

September 29, 2022

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