Hopefully anyone who cares about the future of greyhound racing will never buy a bag of Red Mills ever again. Their short sightedness should cost them a lot more than their sponsorship. It would be worth the horse racing community considering their position as well, as throwing greyhound racing under the bus will only hasten the focus on them and their 'problems'.
The Irish Greyhound Owners And Breeders Federation representing Galway, Kerry, Limerick and Clare, Northern (Brandywell and Drumbo), Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford Greyhound Owners and Breeders Associations unreservedly condemns animal cruelty and illegal practices and we expect the highest standards of welfare for greyhounds at all times. However we do not accept that the vast majority of greyhound owners and indeed the wider greyhound industry were not portrayed in a fair and balanced light in the RTE Investigates programme which was broadcast last week. The programme contained many inaccuracies and omissions and it also featured stories of cruelty that happened over a decade ago and also horrendous stories of cruelty that did not even happen in Ireland. In our opinion it was a programme that was heavily biased towards the Animal Extremist agenda. Our dogs come first. This is our mantra, our way of thinking, our heritage, our life and our reason to get up in the morning. Greyhound people will not be found wanting. The IGOBF intends to work closely with trainers, stud keepers, transporters, greyhound vets and rehoming groups and we are already in the process of bringing forward new welfare/rehoming initiatives to our Irish Greyhound Board. In the coming weeks we expect a massive Anti campaign to try and blacken the good name of all greyhound owners. Indeed Maureen O’ Sullivan, Independent T.D. has already kicked it off when she claimed; “The majority of greyhound owners are abusive towards animals “ How wrong she is! The greyhound people are the salt of the earth and love their greyhounds like family. We urge all greyhound owners to speak well of our sport. Stand up for our heritage and do not allow the Antis the opportunity to gain ground with their shaming and bullying tactics. We can fix the problems and we will fix them together.
Ni neart go chur le cheile (Unity is strength)
Pat O’Neill Chairperson of the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation Theresa Holohan Vice Chairperson, Helen Morris Secretary, Al Hanley Treasurer and Padjoe Dorney PRO.
Hatchet job sadly had easy targets to aim for......
BY PAUL BROWN OF THE RACING POST
EVERYBODY knew what was coming when news first floated the other week of a forthcoming programme on Irish channel RTE with the title ‘Greyhounds Running For Their Lives’, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch the sport being dragged through the mud when it aired.
Those unfamiliar with the greyhound world would have been horrified by the programme, which clearly had no intention of showing any balance and simply painted as poor a picture of Irish greyhound racing as it possibly could.
It started off reasonably enough before disintegrating into the usual sensationalist material designed simply to distress the viewer, but it can’t be argued that everything is squeaky clean judging by some of the revelations.
It was jaw-dropping to hear that one well-known Irish handler’s premises had been raided three times last year by the authorities, and that the haul of illicit drugs obtained during those raids accounted for half of all seizures over a three-year period.
The fact the trainer remains operating would suggest all was not as clear-cut there as the programme alleged, but you still have to wonder what the IGB has been doing if there is even some truth to it.
The descent from investigation to shock tactics saw horrifying footage of dogs being mistreated, butchered and even thrown alive into boiling water, but this was old stuff, I believe from China, that’s been circulating online for years.
It’s abhorrent, yes, but as things stand there are no government rules on either side of the Irish Sea preventing anyone sending greyhounds to this hellhole for animal welfare, and until there is it is sadly a matter for the consciences of those who do it.
If making a few euros or pounds is that important to those who partake in this evil trade then I wonder how they sleep at night.
The fallout from the show has notably seen Red Mills withdraw its sponsorship, following on from Barrys Tea pulling out of its long-running backing at Curraheen, while the anti-greyhound lobby is clearly gunning for the multi-million euros Irish government subsidy the industry receives.
It remains to be seen whether pragmatism – 10,000 jobs are said to be directly and indirectly dependant on the greyhound sector supported via the subsidy – trumps the screaming of the antis.
Britain of course had already seen its own horror show with the Seaham scandal exposed by the Sunday Times in 2006, and the GBGB was almost put up as a role-model for Ireland in the RTE assault.
The GBGB has certainly put welfare front and centre in recent years, and although there is still much scope for improvement Britain probably is ahead of the curve compared to Ireland.
Irish and British anti organisations are clearly emboldened nowadays, however, and it’s not hard to see how a hatchet job could be put together on British greyhound racing by a similarly-motivated TV producer. The fact remains there is work to be done.
That, though, doesn’t give licence to some of the disgraceful behaviour of the antis. Along with many others, I resent being accused of being an animal abuser and murderer simply because I cherish a sport that, remember, is legal.
Driving into Nottingham for Derby final night, there was the usual ragtag army of banner-waving antis shouting at all who were entering, and what particularly irks me is the fact they seem to think they have a monopoly when it comes to doing the right thing by greyhounds.
Their sense that they are best placed to decide what’s for the best and actually care more than an owner or trainer is ludicrous, and points more to their know-all mentality than anything else.
I’ve written before that just from the point of view of looking after what is invariably an expensive purchase, why would any owner or trainer not ensure their dogs had the best of everything?
It was refreshing to see Mark Bird this week knock down the frankly ludicrous argument from Clarissa Baldwin of the Greyhound Forum that the Derby should have been called off due to the warm weather, but it is another illustration that, as stated, the antis are now emboldened, even one apparently as reasonable as Baldwin.
The Irish saga has shown that if anyone gives them fuel to pour on any fire, they will most surely do so.
RED MILLS can now whistle. if they think that joining in the slagging of the greyhounds in Ireland and that there won't be a knock on effect in GB then we shall see. we are not the largest user, some 700 bags which will now be switched to gain.or alpha. and if we can get our supplier to stop stocking red mills then so be it. and as for Barry's tea, it's sh!te. other greyhound trainers etc should teach them where their loyalties lie.
my e-mail to red mills.please do the same. they should learn which side to support. we are not the largest of red mills users but we feed over 750 bags per year on racers and pups. because of your populist move to withdraw greyhound funding then it's only fair we as greyhound people to do the same.
also if we can get stockists like batlys etc to withdraw and post action on greyhound sites we shall do so. Barry's tea is **** and doesn't matter. but yours is I feel a fundamental error on your part.
TAKEN FROM THE GREYHOUND STAR WEBSITE TUESDAY 9/7/19:::
GAIN GREYHOUND FEED – STATEMENT
We were highly concerned by the Prime Time Investigates programme of 26 June which highlighted serious animal welfare issues within the greyhound sector in Ireland. Animal welfare has always been and continues to be a top priority for GAIN.
We immediately began a process of reviewing the issues raised. We have formally conveyed our deep concerns to the Irish Greyhound Board over the shortfalls that have been clearly displayed within the sector. Our values as a company are clear and we expect high standards from our partners and stakeholders.
The IGB is conducting a review of the issues raised. We have indicated to IGB that we expect this review to be robust and that it should deliver a comprehensive approach to overhauling welfare practices in the sector.
As animal welfare advocates, GAIN has worked hard to actively encourage greyhound owners to keep their retired dogs when they finish racing and to promote the rehoming of greyhounds. Through the inaugural “Strolls to GAIN Homes” events last summer, GAIN took a leading role with the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust to highlight to the general public that retired greyhounds make terrific family pets.
GAIN also donated over 1,000 bags of our premium dog food to 36 dog charities across Ireland at Christmas. A significant number of these charities are actively involved in re-homing all types of dogs. We also make regular individual donations to animal rescue charities and shelters.
We are continuing to engage with partners across the industry on this issue.
Caroline Brindley Equine & Pet Brand Manager Glanbia Ireland: Purcellsinch Bus Park, Dublin Road, Kilkenny
IRISH GREYHOUND BOARD ANNOUNCES NEW CONFIDENTIAL PHONE LINE TO REPORT WELFARE CONCERNS..... IGB........
12th July 2019
The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) today announced the launch of a confidential phone line which will be available to members of the public to report greyhound welfare concerns.
The Greyhound Care Line, on 061 448100, will be available 24/7 along with a new email address, email@example.com.
The measure was one of a range of improvements agreed at a special Board meeting on 28th June and was discussed at the IGB’s appearance at the Joint Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine earlier this week.
Reports received by the public will be followed up by a member of the IGB’s welfare team, who have the power to carry out unannounced inspections and act under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.
CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, commented: “All reports of the alleged mistreatment of greyhounds are investigated by a designated Welfare Officer of the IGB. The new phone line and email address will make it easier for the public to inform us of any potential issues relating to greyhound welfare. Information provided to us through these channels will be treated confidentially which is important. There is no place for cruelty or poor animal welfare practices within the greyhound industry. We will continue to work with any and all agencies to eradicate any such behaviour.”
The Greyhound Care Line is now active and the IGB welcomes contact from any member of the public who may have information on the mistreatment of a greyhound.