Greyhound racing should not receive one cent of taxpayers’ money

16 Oct

budget 2021 letter in irish examiner copy

The Budget may have a Green tinge this year, but the support for greyhound racing is an ugly stain on the document that shames the two large parties, and detracts from the credibility of the smaller party that pledged to fight tooth and nail against “recreational” animal cruelty – Read John Fitzgerald’s Letter to the Editor in today’s Irish Examiner…

Greyhound funds leave ugly stain
Irish Examiner, Oct 16th, 2020

While there’s much to welcome in the government’s 2021 Budget, I object to the allocation of €19.2 million to the beleaguered greyhound industry, nearly two and a half million euro more than last year’s hand-out.

This is an industry weighed down with animal cruelty scandals and that displays a reckless attitude to the welfare of the dogs on which it depends to make a profit.

An RTE Investigates programme last year exposed widespread malpractice in the industry, including massive over-breeding of greyhounds, the casual killing of unwanted dogs, and the export of dogs to jurisdictions where they can end up being boiled alive for the meat markets.

Animal rescue groups nationwide routinely cater for abandoned greyhounds, some half starving or covered in sores. Shallow graves have been unearthed all over Ireland containing the carcasses of greyhounds whose thanks for months or years of running was a bullet in the brain or the whack of a shovel.

This industry should not receive one cent of taxpayers’ money, let alone the generous funding that has kept it afloat as attendances at tracks fall and commercial sponsorship diminishes.

The Budget may have a Green tinge this year, but the support for greyhound racing is an ugly stain on the document that shames the two large parties, and detracts from the credibility of the smaller party that pledged to fight tooth and nail against “recreational” animal cruelty.

John Fitzgerald,
Callan, Co Kilkenny

ACTION ALERT

The latest €96 million allocation to horse and greyhound racing will be voted on in November or December. Please contact your TDs and urge them to oppose the funding. Visit the Oireachtas website for contact details for TDs https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/tds/?term=/ie/oireachtas/house/dail/33

Contact Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and demand an end to state funding to horse racing and greyhound racing. Tell them to redirect the funds to the many deserving charities, health/homeless/environmental groups, sports clubs, animal rescue centres, etc crying out for funding.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Email: micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; info@fiannafail.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michealmartintd/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@MichealMartinTD

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-704 3630 OR +353 (0)1-640 3133
Email: leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; finegael@finegael.ie
Tweet to: http://www.twitter.com/@LeoVaradkar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoVaradkar

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Email: paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie; minister@per.gov.ie
Tel: 01 6045810
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaschalDonohoe/
Tweet to @Paschald

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please write your own personal letter)

Dear Deputy,

I am writing to urge you to please oppose further funding to horse and greyhound racing.

The Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations are set to channel another €96 million of taxpayers’ money into the gambling activities in 2021, bringing to more than €1.46 Billion the amount handed over in the past two decades.

Much of the money given to horse racing ends up as prize money in the pockets of wealthy horse owners and trainers, while the funding for greyhound racing continues despite revelations about obscene cruelty and killing and calls for a ban.

If you saw the “RTE Investigates: Greyhounds running for their lives” documentary, you will understand why there should be absolutely no support given to this shameful industry. The programme revealed that around 6,000 greyhounds are killed every year simply because they are not fast enough to win. We were shown horrifying scenes of greyhounds being delivered to knackeries to be shot in the head. One dog was seen writhing on the ground in agony as his merciless owner drove away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM

The programme also highlighted the illegal practice of doping dogs to make them run faster or slower to influence the outcomes of races. Also shown were greyhounds with their ears chopped off or burned with acid (to remove identity tattoos before being dumped) and the hellholes that await Irish greyhounds exported to China and Pakistan.

The Irish public is shocked and disgusted at the revelations, which have sparked multiple protests outside tracks.

A RED C opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and Greyhound Action Ireland shows that two out of every three Irish adults want the government to stop funding greyhound racing [66% Agree, 16% Disagree, 18% Don’t Know] Petitions urging the government to stop the funding have attracted over 400,000 signatures.

It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE that scarce public funds have been pumped into horse and greyhound racing. It is time for this to be stopped and for the money to be redirected to the many deserving charities, health/homeless/environmental groups, sports clubs, animal rescue centres, etc crying out for funding.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Address]

Email the letter to all Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour Party TDs.

Fianna Fáil TDs

john.mcguinness@oireachtas.ie; niamh.smyth@oireachtas.ie; brendan.smith@oireachtas.ie; aindrias.moynihan@oireachtas.ie; michael.moynihan.td@oireachtas.ie; micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; michael.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie; Charlie.McConalogue@oireachtas.ie; sean.haughey@oireachtas.ie; jim.ocallaghan@oireachtas.ie; darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie; jack@jackchambers.ie; anne.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie; eamon.ocuiv@oireachtas.ie; james.lawless@oireachtas.ie; sean.ofearghail@oireachtas.ie; sean.fleming@oireachtas.ie; barry.cowen@oireachtas.ie; willie.odea@oireachtas.ie; niall.collins@oireachtas.ie; Robert.Troy@oireachtas.ie; dara.calleary@oireachtas.ie; thomas.byrne@oireachtas.ie; marc.macsharry@oireachtas.ie; jackie.cahill@oireachtas.ie; mary.butler@oireachtas.ie; james.browne@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.murnaneoconnor@oireachtas.ie; cathal.crowe@oireachtas.ie; james.oconnor@oireachtas.ie; padraig.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; christopher.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; paul.mcauliffe@oireachtas.ie; john.lahart@oireachtas.ie; cormac@cormacdevlin.ie; normafoley1@eircom.net; joe.flaherty@oireachtas.ie; Stephen.Donnelly@oireachtas.ie

Fine Gael TDs

JohnPaul.Phelan@oireachtas.ie; Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie; joe.carey@oireachtas.ie; david.stanton@oir.ie; colm.burke@oireachtas.ie; michael.creed@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie; joe.mchugh@oireachtas.ie; richard.bruton@oireachtas.ie; Eoghan.Murphy@oireachtas.ie; Paschal.Donohoe@oireachtas.ie; Alan.Farrell@oireachtas.ie; emer.higgins@oireachtas.ie; neale.richmond@oireachtas.ie; josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie; colm.brophy@oireachtas.ie; leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.carrollmacneill@oireachtas.ie; Ciaran.Cannon@oireachtas.ie; hildegarde.naughton@oireachtas.ie; Brendan.Griffin@oireachtas.ie; bernard.durkan@oireachtas.ie; Martin.Heydon@oireachtas.ie; charles.flanagan@oireachtas.ie; kieran.odonnell@oireachtas.ie; Patrick.O’Donovan@oireachtas.ie; peter.burke@oireachtas.ie; fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie; alan.dillon@oireachtas.ie; michael.ring@oireachtas.ie; helen.mcentee@oireachtas.ie; damien.english@oireachtas.ie; frank.feighan@oireachtas.ie; paul.kehoe@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Harris@oireachtas.ie

Green Party TDs

Eamon.Ryan@greenparty.ie; catherine.martin@oireachtas.ie; patrick.costello@oireachtas.ie; francisnoel.duffy@oireachtas.ie; neasa.hourigan@oireachtas.ie; brian.leddin@oireachtas.ie; steven.matthews@oireachtas.ie; malcolm.noonan@oireachtas.ie; joe.obrien@oireachtas.ie; marc.ocathasaigh@oireachtas.ie; roderic.ogorman@oireachtas.ie
ossian.smyth@greenparty.ie

Sinn Fein TDs

john.brady@oireachtas.ie; pat.buckley@oireachtas.ie; Sean.Crowe@oireachtas.ie; david.cullinane@oireachtas.ie; Pearse.Doherty@oireachtas.ie; dessie.ellis@oir.ie; kathleen.funchion@oireachtas.ie; martinkennysf@gmail.com; MaryLou.McDonald@oireachtas.ie; denise.mitchell@oireachtas.ie; imelda.munster@oireachtas.ie; eoin.obroin@oireachtas.ie; donnchadh.olaoghaire@oireachtas.ie; aengus.osnodaigh@oireachtas.ie; louiseoreillysf@gmail.com; maurice.quinlivan@oireachtas.ie; Brian.Stanley@oireachtas.ie; mark.ward@oireachtas.ie; chris.andrews@oireachtas.ie; martin.browne@oireachtas.ie; matt.carthy@oireachtas.ie; sorca.clarke@oireachtas.ie; roseconwaywalsh@eircom.net; reada.cronin@oireachtas.ie; pa.daly@oireachtas.ie; paul.donnelly@oireachtas.ie; mairead.farrell@oireachtas.ie; thomas.gould@oireachtas.ie; johnny.guirke@oireachtas.ie; claire.kerrane@oireachtas.ie; padraig.maclochlainn@oir.ie; johnny.mythen@oireachtas.ie; ruairi.omurchu@oireachtas.ie; darren.orourke@oireachtas.ie; patriciaryan975@gmail.com; pauline.tully@oireachtas.ie; vwynne@gmail.com

Labour Party TDs

sean.sherlock@oireachtas.ie,aodhan.oriordain@oireachtas.ie,duncan.smith@oireachtas.ie,gerald.nash@oireachtas.ie,Alan.Kelly@oireachtas.ie,brendan.howlin@oireachtas.ie

Please sign and share the petition

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Racing
https://www.change.org/p/irish-government-stop-giving-millions-of-euro-to-cruel-greyhound-racing

Irish Government grants to horse racing

2001 €47,110,330
2002 €54,452,651
2003 €51,348,800
2004 €53,531,200
2005 €54,680,000
2006 €56,047,000
2007 €58,539,000
2008 €61,028,800
2009 €54,502,000
2010 €47,411,200
2011 €45,830,000
2012 €45,032,000
2013 €44,016,000
2014 €43,376,000
2015 €54,400,000
2016 €59,200,000
2017 €64,000,000
2018 €64,000,000
2019 €67,200,000
2020 €67,200,000
2021 €76,800,000

Total: €1,169 Million (€1.169 Billion)

Irish Government grants to greyhound racing

2001 €11,777,583
2002 €13,613,163
2003 €12,837,200
2004 €13,382,800
2005 €13,670,000
2006 €14,012,000
2007 €14,572,000
2008 €15,257,000
2009 €13,625,600
2010 €11,852,800
2011 €11,460,000
2012 €11,258,000
2013 €11,004,000
2014 €10,844,000
2015 €13,600,000
2016 €14,800,000
2017 €16,000,000
2018 €16,000,000
2019 €16,800,000
2020 €16,800,000
2021 €19,200,000

Total: €292 Million (€0.292 Billion)

Source: Department of Agriculture

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