Following the RTÉ Investigates programme, the Green Party are calling for taxpayers’ money to be redirected away from greyhound racing to animal welfare and environmental groups.
The Greens are also calling for an immediate suspension of State funding to the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) as it is clear the organisation is incapable of managing the rogue element in the industry.
Greyhound racing receives some €16.8m in Government funding each year while the environmental NGO sector receives just €1.5m.
This niche sport, which is linked to some 6,000 needless animal deaths every year, is receiving ten times more in state funding than environmental groups who commit themselves to the protection of wildlife and the environment.
Local Councillor Louise Heavin said:
‘The pictures in last nights broadcast were deeply distressing and difficult to watch. It highlighted serious levels of animal cruelty and there are big question marks over why the taxpayer has been subsidising this industry.”
Green Party Spokesperson for Rural Community Affairs and Local Government, Cllr Malcolm Noonan said:
“‘When governance issues were exposed at the FAI, funding was suspended. This in our view is a far more serious matter and the IGB seem incapable of managing the considerable rogue element that exists within its industry, therefore it is our view that funding should be suspended and diverted to animal welfare charities who are firewalling trying to deal with the sheer scale of the abuse and over production of greyhounds.”
The Greens are calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed and Minister of State, Andrew Doyle to call the IGB to task over the issues raised in the RTE Investigates programme.
“This industry receives over 16m euro annually in State funding while animal welfare charities across the country are bursting at the seams with dogs rescued from euthanasia due to being too slow for racing. It is barbaric and cannot be allowed to continue.
“The money needs to be redirected to animal welfare and environmental groups that work to protect animals and wildlife. If the government were to substantially increase the funding to the groups that make up the Irish Environmental Network, you would instantly see a professionalisation of the sector. This would mean jobs in rural areas and this would also give such groups the capacity to run effective fundraising which could double the government investment. We know these groups contribute €55m annually to the economy at the minute and with effective funding it could be many multiples of that.”
“We commend RTE for exceptional public service broadcasting and for shining a light on this issue and we hope that the programme will act as a catalyst for the seismic shift that is required to move Ireland towards a more humane society when it comes to animal welfare,” concluded Cllr Noonan.