A shocking new documentary has revealed that nearly 6,000 Irish greyhounds are killed each year just for not racing fast enough and endure horrific cruelty.
Ireland is one of only eight countries in the world that still allows greyhound racing. A new documentary out tonight on RTÉ One reveals shocking cruelty built into the industry's practices and treatment of animals.
Irish law doesn't even consider greyhounds to be dogs; instead classifying them as farm animals.
RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds, Running for Their Lives claims that each year 16,000 greyhounds are born in Ireland. Of those, in 2017, 5,987 greyhounds were killed just for poor performance or failure to make qualification times.
#Ireland gives greyhound industry €16m a year of taxpayers’ money, 1 of just 8 countries still hosting racing. But nearly 6,000 of 16,000 greyhounds bred here every year, are killed, running for their lives. #RTEInvestigates, tonight, 9.35pm @RTEOne pic.twitter.com/88dJbvS9h5— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) June 26, 2019
That shocking figure comes from a consultancy firm that was paid €115,000 by the Irish Greyhound Board to conduct a review of the greyhound racing industry. The report was only shared with the Irish Minister for Agriculture last month.
What's more, it may not even account for the fates of all of Ireland's greyhounds.
The greyhound racing pool in Ireland is a quarter the size of Britain’s yet we breed 16 times more greyhounds than the UK.— RTÉ (@rte) June 26, 2019
According to the Irish Greyhound Board’s Preferred Results report the greyhound market is oversupplied by 1000% percent #RTEInvestigates pic.twitter.com/yFW61QBlIs
Dr. Andrew Kelly of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) told the program: “We believe there’s a large gap in which thousands of puppies that are born, they are never registered, simply disappear.”
According to a review by the Irish Times, the documentary does not hold back on showing the horrific treatment the greyhounds endure.
Thank you to everyone involved in #RTEInvestigates Greyhounds Running for Their Lives.— Greys1Voice (@greys1voice) June 27, 2019
6,000 greyhounds killed in #Ireland every year for being too slow. The UK industry, bookies those that bet and support greyhound racing are responsible for this too. #YouBetTheyDie pic.twitter.com/Mb7rHBqxJs
It follows greyhounds hacked to death in China and another one that gets boiled alive.
Closer to home, the industry outsources its killing to knackeries, premises where animals are slaughtered to be turned into food for other animals. The documentary shows one greyhound as it gets shot in the head and writhes to death, its collar casually handed back to its owner.
#RTEInvestigates captures a man sat in his car while the greyhound was taken by the knackery. A single shot to the back of the dog's head, the man in the car waited for the return of the collar. The dog is left writhing on the floor for the last minutes of its life, then dumped pic.twitter.com/DnFZj5GCJu— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) June 26, 2019
There are also reports of extensive doping, with one veterinary surgeon, Finbarr Heslin, saying “We see dogs who come in and they’ve had so much EPO pumped into them that their blood is like treacle”.
"There are no animal welfare laws in Pakistan. We are told by Pakistani trainers that after 1 season these dogs are often sold on to pig hunters, are used for hunting wild boar, their limbs would be dismembered, broken, they will die horrific deaths" - Rita James #RTEInvestigates— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) June 26, 2019
People are expressing outrage over the amount of public funding the industry receives, slated to get €16.8 million in 2019 from the Department of Agriculture.
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