INFORMATION REGARDING PROPOSED PROTEST AT CLONMEL TRACK
Owners, Trainers and patrons that will be in attendance at Clonmel Greyhound stadium tomorrow night, July 19th are reminded of the planned protest that is scheduled to take place on the night.
The protest, which has been described ‘Peaceful & Silent’ is due to take place from 6.30PM to 8.30PM so Clonmel would like to advise owners and trainers to arrive a bitearlier if they want to avoid it.
The weigh in tomorrow night is between 6.45PM to 7.15PM and we would also like to ask owners and trainers with vans to make sure that all doors are closed as they leave the track.
Finally, we would like to ask that the greyhound community both near and far to continue to turn out in numbers to support the industry and tracks as they have been doing at other venues around the country
IRISH GREYHOUND BOARD RISING TO WELFARE CHALLENGE....
OCTOBER 16, 2019
Its critics might say ‘not before time’ or ‘too little too late’. But the fact remains that the Irish Greyhound Board seems to be following its British counterpart, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, with a more open approach to welfare and integrity writes Floyd Amphlett of the Greyhound Star website.
In a nine month summary of progress made in 2019, the Board press release reveals number for kennel checks, drugs tests and re-homing futures. The update comes two weeks after the Irish Government confirmed that it will back the greyhound industry to a tune of €16.8m in 2020.
Irish Greyhound Board Welfare & Regulation update: October 2019
The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) continues to make significant progress in the areas of welfare and regulation under its Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
€2 million was spent by the IGB across regulation and welfare in 2018.
An array of care and welfare measures, including a greyhound injury support scheme, the launch of the Greyhound Care Line, an extension of our foster care scheme, the establishment of the Greyhound Care Fund and other initiatives have been introduced in recent months.
Further measures, such as a traceability system for all racing greyhounds and negotiations with international rehoming agencies to rehome more retired Irish greyhounds, continue to progress.
The following is an update on various welfare and regulation measures up to the end of September 2019:
January 1st – September 30th 2019:
388 inspections of ‘greyhound establishments’ and welfare inspections carried out, which includes trainers’ kennels *These include unannounced kennel inspections
52 welfare investigations carried out These involve matters such as stray greyhounds/reports received of greyhound welfare concerns/non-notification to ICC of sales or transfers of greyhounds Five Welfare Notices served by IGB Welfare Officers in 2019 Ten Fixed Payment Notices served by IGB Welfare Officers in 2019 Greyhound Regulation / National Greyhound Laboratory sampling:
January 2019: 394 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings February 2019: 317 samples analysed, 3 adverse analytical findings March 2019: 463 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings April 2019: 470 samples analysed, 3 adverse analytical findings May 2019: 553 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings June 2019: 470 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings July 2019: 472 samples analysed, 1 adverse analytical findings August 2019: 544 samples analysed, 2 adverse analytical findings September 2019: 481 samples analysed, 0 adverse analytical findings Total sampling between January & September 2019 = 4,164 Number of adverse analytical findings found between January & September 2019 = 13 (0.31%) Number of samples analysed by Bord na Gcon Laboratory during 2018 = 5,288 Number of adverse analytical findings found in 2018 = 22 (0.41%) Rehoming of Retired Greyhounds:
Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) [Registered Charity: 20034849] Established by the IGB and is jointly funded together with greyhound owners to rehome greyhounds after retirement and in promoting as domestic pets. The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust now assists Irish Private Rehoming Agencies in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Kerry and Belfast by providing financial assistance towards either their veterinary costs or their transportation costs. Organisations may submit proposals to the IRGT for financial assistance and such proposals will then be considered by the Trustees of the IRGT. From June 2019, these assisted agencies can obtain an additional €100 per retired greyhound rehomed in Ireland to encourage and further facilitate domestic rehomings. Greyhound rehomings between January & September 2019:
IRGT rehomings = 425 (versus 402 in same period in 2018) Rehomings by private rehoming organisations which receive financial assistance from the IRGT = 328 (versus 366 in same period in 2018) Total rehomings = 753 (versus 768 in same period in 2018)
IGB spent €2m on dog welfare and regulation in 2018.....
THE Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has reported that €2 million was spent by the group in the fields of regulation and welfare in 2018, as they continue to make ‘significant progress’ in the areas of welfare and regulation under its Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
An array of care and welfare measures, including a greyhound injury support scheme, the launch of the Greyhound Care Line, an extension of the IGB’s foster care scheme, the establishment of the Greyhound Care Fund and other initiatives have been introduced in recent months, according to a spokesperson for the IGB.
Further measures, such as a traceability system for all racing greyhounds and negotiations with international rehoming agencies to rehome more retired Irish greyhounds, continue to progress, the spokesperson added.
On top of that, over 1,000 retired greyhounds were rehomed via Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) assistance in 2018. The IRGT financially supports many private rehoming organisations across Ireland and further afield. The racing greyhound continues to be the most regulated of all canine breeds in Ireland, a IGB spokesperson claimed. The IRGT, operated and established by IGB, rehomes greyhounds after retirement and promotes them as domestic pets.
The spokesperson also stated that the IGB Control Stewards carry out a track inspection prior to all race meetings and trial sessions and the track vet attends all race meetings and sales trials to ensure that appropriate care is provided.
FUTURE OF FOUR IRISH TRACKS IN DOUBT AFTER INDECON REPORT...........................
GREYHOUND STAR — DECEMBER 6, 2019
The future of four greyhound tracks: Enniscorthy, Lifford, Longford and Youghal appears to be in doubt following an indpendent review of the Irish Greyhound Industry. The Indecon report has been accepted by the Irish Greyhound Board.
The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) today released an independent report undertaken by Indecon Economic Consultants, which reviewed the future needs of its 16 licensed stadia and made recommendations regarding the industry’s footprint into the future.
The recommendations of the report have been accepted by the Board of the IGB.
A fully independent, systematic review into the sustainability of individual stadia and the wider industry footprint formed a key element of the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
The brief for the study included the assessment of infrastructure and services available at all 16 licensed greyhound stadia in Ireland; an assessment of financial sustainability at each track; analysis of population catchments and motorway access; and detailed recommendations regarding individual stadia.
The report has recommended a restructuring of the footprint of the greyhound sector; ongoing cost efficiency measures; targeted investment in animal welfare, marketing & infrastructure; and the ceasing of funding for four stadia – Enniscorthy, Lifford, Longford and Youghal.
Enniscorthy’s wide galloping track has produced many future stars in the South East. Lifford’s passionate greyhound community have had a long association and commitment to racing in the North West. Longford has had a strong greyhound racing tradition for generations, with the track being a signature ‘schooling’ track for young greyhounds. Youghal has produced many high quality owners, trainers and greyhounds and most recently has provided quality SIS racing to a worldwide audience.
The four tracks concerned have each contributed significantly to the Irish greyhound industry over a long number of years. Each track has been in operation for over half a century, with each one having a unique history, culture and tradition. The IGB very much regrets the decision to cease funding at these stadia and its impact on staff, owners and the wider greyhound community but is keenly aware of the challenges that Indecon Economic Consultants have identified for the industry.
The IGB has already taken steps to address these challenges, including:
The implementation of the Greyhound Racing Act 2019, signed into law by the President in May of this year. The Act includes the welfare of greyhounds as one of the statutory functions of the IGB for the first time. It also provides the board with powers to make regulations relating to integrity, anti-doping, administration and a full greyhound traceability system. Tenders have recently been sought by the IGB for the provision of a traceability system.
The IGB’s overall spend on welfare and regulation in 2020 is estimated at €3.4m, including expenditure on veterinary services at tracks, operation of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust and the IGB’s welfare and regulatory teams.
The IGB continues to make significant progress in the areas of welfare and regulation under its Strategic Plan 2018-2022 through various care and welfare initiatives, including:
– From June 2019, the IGB extended and increased support under its scheme for foster care of greyhounds to identify new foster homes within Ireland for greyhounds.
– From July 2019, the IGB established the confidential, recorded Greyhound Care Line (061 448080), available 24/7 to members of the public to report greyhound welfare concerns. This has resulted in more than 30 individual investigations carried out by the IGB’s welfare department to date.
– The IGB is progressing the provision of Greyhound Care Centres, intended to help the transition of racing greyhounds from the track to retirement. A tender evaluation process on 16 separate submissions is nearing completion.
– From September 2019, the IGB established a separate Care Fund dedicated to funding a variety of initiatives for the care and welfare of the greyhound, accrued from 10% of all admissions and restaurant packages, 5% of net Tote income and 50% of existing sponsorship contributions. The IGB is targeting the sum of €1 million to be raised for the Greyhound Care Fund in its first year of operation.
The IGB continues to strive to continuously improve cost efficiency measures, eliminating non-value adding costs and maximising income potential.
CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, commented: “This review, which forms part of the IGB’s five year strategic plan, will progress the industry’s footprint for the future. The greyhound industry, like many other industries, has to change and adapt to maintain viability for future generations. The report that has been published today, and which has been accepted by the Board of the IGB gives a road map to underpin a viable long term sustainable industry for people to participate in and enjoy. I acknowledge that the report will make difficult reading for the passionate greyhound community, particularly those who are employed in, race greyhounds or attend greyhound racing in any of the stadia where the cessation of funding is recommended. It is important that members of the public, both inside and outside of the industry, have a chance to assess the outcome of the independent study and express their views before the recommendations are implemented.”
The IGB is inviting submissions regarding the report’s recommendations and their implementation up to January 10th, 2020.
Review of Irish greyhound industry recommends closure of four tracks
Tracks in Co Donegal, Longford, Co Wexford and Co Cork suggested for closure..
An in-depth review of the Irish greyhound industry has recommended the closure of four tracks next year.
Tracks at Lifford, Co Donegal, Longford, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford and Youghal Co Cork are understood to be recommended for closure in the review by economic consultants Indecon, most likely during 2020.
There will also be three to four care home facilities opened next year, allied with a fostering programme for dogs and the introduction of a 100 per cent traceability programme involving widespread chipping of animals.
Indecon found that the long-term sustainability of the sport would be aided by the closure of the tracks, enabling the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to focus its resources more effectively.
There will be a wider review of the sustainability of the industry’s footprint, with all non-performing tracks slated for review by the end of 2022. It is understood that staff will be told about the recommendations for closure this afternoon.
The greyhound industry has been under financial pressure for many years, but has been been the subject of some controversy since an RTÉ programme which was screened earlier this year. The programme by RTÉ Investigates revealed culling practices at some facilities, among other issues which drew the fire of animal rights campaigners and politicians.
However, the amount awarded to the industry – €16 million – was not diminished in this budget, attracting criticism of the Government from some quarters. The IGB has introduced a number of measures aimed at improving sustainability and animal welfare since the programme was screened, but it has also complained about the programme to the BAI. It has also said that it does not accept the findings of a report it commissioned itself on the level of culling in the industry.