Top comedian Ricky Gervais has joined protests at the export of Irish greyhounds to China – amid fears they could become fast food if they’re too slow to race.

The Hollywood actor and creator of the cult 'Office' TV show, Gervais has lent his support to a new campaign by Irish animal welfare groups.

But the greyhound board at the center of the protests has told Gervais and his group to get their facts right before condemning their proposals.

Their reaction came after Gervais added his name to the campaign to stop the government controlled Irish Greyhound Board from pressing ahead with plans to export the racing dogs to China.

Campaigners believe slow dogs who fail to live up to expectation will be slaughtered in China and some may even be eaten.

“I am extremely concerned for these dogs,” the British comedian told the Sunday Times.

“It is bad enough that many greyhounds are killed and injured through commercial racing in the UK and Ireland and other parts of the world.

“Now the Irish greyhound racing industry wants to expand and send greyhounds to China.”

Animal charities in Ireland have already made their feelings known to the Irish government who fund the Greyhound Board.

They have highlighted that several countries refuse to sell greyhounds to China over fears that slow dogs will be put down and even eaten.

The Irish Greyhound Board has reacted angrily to the Gervais intervention however.

An IGB spokesman said: “Ricky Gervais should get his facts right.

“Any Irish greyhounds sent to China will be properly cared for and will remain the property of the IGB.

“We would ensure any greyhounds sent to China would be looked after.”