Despite lack of public support and cruelty concerns, the Government continues to prop up the greyhound racing industry 

Increased State funding for the greyhound racing industry represents a serious setback for animal welfare in Ireland, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns made her comments ahead of today’s Dáil motion proposing approval of the Horse and Greyhound Funding Regulations. Budget 2023 allocated €18.2 million to Greyhound Racing Ireland, an increase of €600,000 on the previous year.

“It is deeply disappointing to see this dying industry being propped up by the Government. Greyhound racing is in terminal decline, both here and internationally. It does not enjoy public support and has seen a sharp drop in attendances at race meetings.

“Irish people are recognising that this is a cruel industry which has no place in modern society.

“Over-breeding of dogs continues to be a major concern. A recent report by the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee noted that there is virtually no oversight or transparency regarding canine artificial insemination.

“The reality is that the greyhound racing sector is being kept on life support through State funding and would otherwise be unable to stand on its own feet financially.

“The Social Democrats have called for State funding for greyhound racing to be phased out over the next three years, with an annual reduction of around €6 million or €7 million between now and 2025.

“Regrettably, the Government is going in the opposite direction by increasing funding to an industry plagued by animal welfare concerns.

“By comparison, organisations such as Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland only get a tiny fraction of the amount allocated to greyhound racing.

“I will continue to strenuously oppose State funding for greyhound racing, which is not in the public interest and represents a retrograde step for animal welfare in Ireland.”

November 30, 2022

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