Fine Gael Senator claims greyhound industry has a “good name”

24 Feb

Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer has outrageously suggested that the cruel and crumbling greyhound industry has a “good name” to uphold!

Speaking in the Seanad this week, Senator Buttimer said: “the Government commits more than €16 million to the greyhound racing fund [for 2017]…It is important that we uphold the good name that it has.”

In the midst of ongoing revelations about animal cruelty in the greyhound industry, the export of greyhounds to countries with little or no animal protection, protests outside tracks and the doping of greyhounds to make them run faster or slower, Senator Buttimer’s suggestion that the greyhound industry has a “good name” is farcical.

Responding to a statement from Senator Ronan Mullen – – that a man barred from working in the Australian greyhound industry for baiting live animals is now employed at a kennels in Ireland, Senator Buttimer went on to say: “I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be condoning or supporting malpractice or bad practice in the greyhound industry because it is a very important industry to our country.”

This suggestion that there isn’t bad practice already in the Irish greyhound industry ignores the injury, mutilation, dumping and killing of greyhounds around Ireland and the thousands of greyhounds who “disappear” every year – most likely killed because they are not fast enough to win money for owners.

Senator Buttimer’s defence of the greyhound industry and the government’s quarter of a billion euro pay-out of taxpayers’ money to prop it up are not too surprising, given his personal involvement in greyhound racing.

He is on record as saying that he “has had a family involvement in greyhounds over the years”.  According to a July 2012 Irish Examiner report, Jerry Buttimer was part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who “stumped up €250 each for a share in [greyhound] Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials.” The Irish Greyhound Board website shows that Swift Starlet was entered into 65 races between July 2012 and August 2014 and won 7. Her last race was at Mullingar greyhound track on 30th August 2014 when she came last. What happened to her after that remains unknown. Senator Buttimer has not replied to requests for information about whether Swift Starlet is alive or dead.

As a TD in March 2013, Jerry Buttimer voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland’s worst acts of cruelty to animals – foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.


Make a complaint to Jerry Buttimer about his support for the cruel greyhound industry. Tell him you do not want scarce public funds being squandered on a gambling industry in which dogs are injured, mutilated, dumped and killed.

Jerry Buttimer
Tel: +353 (0)1-6183380 or +353 (0)21 4840652
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Tweet to @jerrybuttimer

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