ISPCA supports “winding down of greyhound racing in Ireland”

10 Oct

ispca supports winding down of greyhound racing copy

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has stated that it wants to see an end to greyhound racing in Ireland.

“I can confirm that the ISPCA would support the winding down of greyhound racing in Ireland by way of sensible government policies within a reasonable timeline,” ISPCA CEO, Dr Cyril Sullivan has told ICABS.

The statement is another major blow to the dog-killing gambling activity and will increase pressure on the Irish Government to act. 

The ISPCA – Ireland’s largest national animal welfare charity – resigned from the International Greyhound Forum in 2020, with then CEO Dr Andrew Kelly commenting : “The ISPCA resigned from the IGF because we do not believe that the measures introduced by the Irish Greyhound Board to improve welfare are workable and that they will not address the real problem – over-production of greyhounds. We also resigned as we can no longer engage with the Irish Coursing Club.”

The ISPCA previously called for a ban on hare coursing, saying “hare coursing is cruel and should be consigned to the history books on disease control, conservation, animal welfare and ethical grounds.”

The ISPCA’s statement this month follows recent calls for an end to greyhound racing from Dogs Trust Ireland, Dogs Trust UK, the RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, Blue Cross, Woodgreen and other groups.

Greyhound racing is responsible for the deaths of thousands of dogs every year, killed behind the scenes as they are not fast enough. RTE’s award-winning documentary “Greyhounds Running For Their Lives” featured a report which Greyhound Racing Ireland tried to hide. The report estimated, for example, that a total of 17,962 greyhounds were culled in Ireland in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They were killed for “failure to produce qualifying times”, “failure to produce desired entry level times” and for an “unacceptable decline in performance”.

Greyhounds also suffer and die at tracks. GRI statistics show that at races around Ireland in the past nine years alone, at least 2,881 greyhounds suffered injuries and 983 died or were killed. The figures do not include the greyhounds injured at tracks and later killed elsewhere, or those injured and killed at trials or sales auctions.

Among the victims at tracks: a greyhound who died after suffering a “severe fracture of the neck”, a greyhound who collapsed after a race and died of a heart attack, a greyhound who was carried away bleeding with a leg bone “popped out”, a greyhound who collapsed and died with a “haemorrhage into the abdomen from a rupture of the aorta”, a greyhound who “collided with a boundary wall and died on impact” and greyhounds who suffered broken necks and died.

Greyhound racing survives in Ireland only thanks to massive government grants. Since 2001, Greyhound Racing Ireland has received over €309 million of scarce public funds, with another €18.2 million allocated for 2023. A RED C poll found that a two-thirds majority of citizens want this funding stopped. There are renewed calls on the government to recognise the inherent cruelty in greyhound racing, respect the wishes of the majority and defund Greyhound Racing Ireland as a step towards finally ending the activity.


Find out more about the ISPCA at

RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross want to see an end to greyhound racing as soon as possible

Dogs Trust Ireland calling for greyhound racing to be ended

Battersea won’t join calls for a ban on greyhound racing


Don’t go greyhound racing. Please join us in urging the government to STOP the massive grants that are propping up this cruel, dog-killing gambling activity. Since 2001, Greyhound Racing Ireland has received €309 million in funding, including €19.2 million for 2021 and €17.6 million for 2022. Another €18.2 million has been allocated in Budget 2023. This is unacceptable and must be stopped.

Please contact your local TDs and urge them to oppose this funding. Visit the Oireachtas website for contact details for TDs

Urge the leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour to stop the funding and back a ban on greyhound racing

Micheál Martin TD
Leader, Fianna Fail
Phone: 021-432 0088
Leinster House: 01–618 3000

Leo Varadkar TD
Leader, Fine Gael
Telephone: 01-619 4020
Tweet to:

Eamon Ryan TD
Leader, Green Party
Tel: 01 618 3894

Mary Lou McDonald TD
Leader, Sinn Fein
Tel: (01) 727 7102

Ivana Bacik TD
Leader, The Labour Party
Tel: (01) 6183136

Urge Battersea to join calls for a ban on greyhound racing.

Tel: 0800 001 4444.
Tweet: @Battersea_ @CEO_Battersea


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