Department refuses to release results of greyhound post-mortems

18 Mar

Dept refuses to release results of greyhound post-mortems copy

The Department of Agriculture is refusing to release the results of post mortems carried out on the remains of greyhounds found dumped in a bog in Newbridge last August.

In its 2 March 2023 refusal response, the Department stated that the post mortem report “contains description and findings of post mortems carried out by the Department of Agriculture on greyhounds, whose bodies were recovered from a bog at Roseberry, Newbridge, Co Kildare”.

The post mortems “contain findings and information relevant to an ongoing investigation” and the “release of the post mortem report may impair or prejudice successful conclusion of the investigation and/or prosecution of offenders,” the Department added.

Responding to a Dail Question from Paul Murphy TD in January, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue stated: “incomplete skeletal remains of seven dogs were submitted for post mortem examination to my Department’s laboratories at Backweston on 1st September 2022…It was not possible to determine when these animals had died but traumatic injury, evident in six of the dogs, was the most probable cause of death.”

Minister McConalogue told Deputy Murphy that the case was handed over to Greyhound Racing Ireland which arranged for tissue samples from the dogs to be analysed by a specialised laboratory.

TheJournal reported on 3rd February 2023 that Minister McConalogue “said it was not possible to determine when the animals had died”.

A Greyhound Racing Ireland representative was quoted as saying that “DNA was retrieved from one of the greyhounds and submitted for analysis” and “the DNA sample was cross referenced with DNA from a selection of greyhounds in the wider Newbridge area – to date, no match has been found and the GRI investigation into the matter is ongoing.”

“This is yet another horrendous example of what happens to greyhounds in this callous racing industry,” ICABS campaign director Aideen Yourell has stated. “Six of these poor creatures suffered traumatic injuries as revealed by the post mortems. We need more detail of what kind of traumatic injuries they mean, how these dogs died and did they suffer injuries to different parts of their bodies. It’s high time the government pulled the plug on funding this horrible industry that sees thousands of greyhounds disposed of when surplus to requirements.”

The gruesome find, comprising skulls, bones and skeletons, was made by a member of the public who was walking at Roseberry Bog at a spot just 2km from Newbridge Greyhound Stadium. Among the remains, a greyhound muzzle was visible.

Documents obtained by journalist Ken Foxe included a report from a Greyhound Racing Ireland Stipendary Steward who visited the scene. He wrote: “The remains were of a minimal of 6 dogs, 5 of which the skull and spinal chord were in one piece as well as well as one skull and one body of a dog which may or may not be the same dog. We numbered these 1-7. The 6 skulls had damage to the top of the skull where it meets with the spine. The remains which were bagged in bags numbered 1-6 were of skeletal remains, however the remains numbered 7 were still submerged in the bog and when we pulled them out of the wet peat the hind quarters were very much intact and you could tell this was a large black dog with well-developed muscles consistent with that of a racing greyhound and you could see its nails had been clipped in a manner consistent with that of a racing greyhound.”

This is not the first time that greyhound remains have been found dumped in the countryside by unscrupulous greyhound owners. In Ballyagran, Co. Limerick, in 2012, the remains of six greyhounds were found at a disused dump, having been shot in the head, while in 2005 the mutilated remains of three greyhounds were found floating in a river in the Dungarvan area.

RTE’s award-winning “Greyhounds running for their lives” documentary revealed that thousands of greyhounds are killed every year simply because they are not fast enough to win. It featured disturbing scenes of dogs being delivered to a knackery where they were shot in the head and dumped in a skip. One shot dog was seen writhing on the ground in agony as his merciless owner drove away.

The documentary featured extracts from a damning report which Greyhound Racing Ireland attempted to hide. The report estimated that, for example, a total of 17,962 greyhounds were culled 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 are also dying at tracks. Greyhound Racing Ireland statistics show that at races around Ireland in the past nine years, at least 3,050 greyhounds suffered injuries and 1,060 died or were killed.


Don’t go greyhound racing or attend events at greyhound tracks. Please join us in urging the government to end the state funding that is keeping the dying greyhound “industry” afloat.

Since 2001, over €309 million in funding has been handed over to Greyhound Racing Ireland, including €19.2 million for 2021, €17.6 million for 2022 and €18.2 million for 2023. It’s time for politicians to stop the funding and allow unpopular greyhound racing to die a death. Please contact your local TDs now

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

Please sign and share the petitions

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Racing

GAA: Stop club fundraisers at greyhound tracks

Tell Gain Pet Nutrition to Stop Sponsoring Greyhound Racing

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