139 greyhounds put down over race injuries

21 Dec

139 greyhounds put down over race injuries
Irish Examiner, November 16, 2017

A total of 139 greyhounds were put down last year after suffering serious racetrack injuries.

Of the almost 100,000 greyhounds raced at tracks in the full 2016 racing calendar, 427 suffered on-track injuries, figures released by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) for the first time have shown.

There were 81 injuries at Mullingar track, 51 at Shelbourne Park, 35 at Harold’s Cross, 34 at Limerick, and 21 at Newbridge.

The most common injury was to a dog’s hock, or ankle, and an IGB spokesman said injuries can range from mild to serious and that a diminished quality of life is the key determinant on which a track vet makes a decision to put down a greyhound.

Arising from veterinary advice, 139 injured dogs were euthanised — 0.14% of all greyhounds raced. Most of the dogs were put down at the Kingdom Greyhound Track in Tralee, with 18 dogs euthanised, with tracks in Mullingar and Dundalk accounting for 15 each, Longford, 10 and Waterford, were eight dogs were destroyed.

The figure is slightly up on 2015 when 95,127 dogs raced, 421 were injured, and 122 were put down on veterinary advice — 0.13% of dogs raced.

The IGB said control stewards carry out a track inspection prior to all race meetings and trial sessions.

“The track vet attends all race meetings and sales trials to ensure that appropriate care is provided to injured greyhounds and to advise the stewards on welfare,” it said.

“As with any sport involving speed and athleticism, injuries do occasionally occur and best veterinary care and advice is followed in every case.”

IGB welfare manager, Barry Coleman, said the board has identified best practice in track maintenance and these maintenance procedures are implemented at tracks nationwide.

Austin Noonan of the Limerick and Clare Greyhound Owners Breeders Association, described the figures as “an unfortunate outcome for all involved in the sport”.

But animal rights activist, John Carmody, described the figures as “shocking”.

“The number of dogs killed on these Irish racetracks due to injuries is shocking and few people, I bet, are aware of it. There’s little the industry can do at this stage that will spin their deaths in any other way. Most people who go for a night at the dogs will be horrified to learn of this and I hope that they will refuse to have anything go to do with this industry that is appearing more desperate by the day.”

Meanwhile, greyhound handler, Michael McDonagh, from Brownsgrove, Tuam, in Co Galway, has been fined €1,000 by the sport’s governing body after traces of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, were found in a urine sample from his dog, Tír na Croí, which was presented for racing at Longford Greyhound Stadium on April 24 last.

The IGB’s control committee rejected Mr McDonagh’s suggestion that the adverse finding was due to the use of a “wintergreen” rub or “difene”, and it also rejected his suggestion that the substance had come through the food chain.

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/139-greyhounds-put-down-over-race-injuries-462935.html

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Sherry Fitzgerald using hunting as a property selling point

21 Dec

“Hunting is well catered for” in the locality – that’s what an auctioneer associated with Sherry Fitzgerald is shamefully using as a selling point for a country house in Clonard, County Meath.

A property description on the Sherry Fitzgerald website states: “Hunting is well catered for by the Ward Union, Tara, Meath and Kildare hunting packs…”

These hunts are responsible for terrorisation of animals and for animals being attacked and ripped apart. It is shameful that any auctioneer would turn a blind eye to the horrors of hunting and use it as a means to try and make a property appear more appealing. A classic case of cash before compassion.

ACTION ALERT

Join us in contacting Sherry Fitzgerald and Tom Fox Auctioneers to urge them to remove the reference to hunting from its property listing.

Sherry Fitzgerald Head Office
164 Shelbourne Road
Ballsbridge
Dublin 4
Phone: +353 1 2376300
Fax: +353 1 6609262
Email: info@sherryfitz.ie

Tom Fox Auctioneer
Contact: Denise Fox
Phone: 044 9379988
Email: denise@tomfoxauctioneer.ie

Continuing decline in greyhound racing

21 Dec

In the latest sign that greyhound racing is in decline, another race at Cork’s Curraheen Park track has been postponed for a week because there are not enough entries.

A notice on the Irish Greyhound Board website states: “The Open 575 has been put back a week at Curraheen Park due to lack of entries”.

The fall in interest in racing at Curraheen Park has previously been flagged by the Evening Echo newspaper. A report in March outlined that “due to a lack of entries”, a race at the track had to be delayed by a week “in the hope that extra entries materialise”. A track manager was quoted as saying: “It is disappointing that such an event has failed to fill”.

In September, we reported that the Curraheen Park track cancelled racing on Thursdays.

More recently, the Evening Echo’s greyhound racing correspondent provided a damning insight into the state of greyhound racing in County Cork. In a series of tweets, Barry Drake commented that greyhound racing “has a rotten image” and is “in serious trouble”.

After attending greyhound racing in Cork’s Curraheen Park track, he tweeted “Shocking crowds, poor tote-pools, zero atmosphere, game in serious trouble. Something needs to be done quickly!”

As highlighted by ICABS earlier this year, greyhound owners have been abandoning the racing industry in their thousands.

Further to a Dail Question from ICABS President, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, the Irish Greyhound Board confirmed that the number of active owners of racing greyhounds has plummeted by nearly 50 per cent in the past decade. Information supplied to Deputy O’Sullivan by the IGB shows a major exodus from the industry.

The figures show that there were 7,265 fewer owners of racing greyhounds in 2015 than in 2007. The numbers fell every year from 14,869 in 2007 to 7,604 in 2015.

The number of greyhound racing meetings has also significantly dropped. In 2006, 2,190 meetings were held and in 2015, that number had fallen by a quarter to 1,642.

Other figures supplied by the greyhound board confirm that it’s not only greyhound owners who are turning their backs on the industry – so too is the general public, with 606,099 less attendances at greyhound tracks around Ireland in the past 10 years. That’s a nearly 50 per cent fall.

Sponsors are also rejecting greyhound racing with a 58 per cent drop in sponsorship between 2007 and 2014. The industry has also seen a 58 per cent fall in tote in the same period.

One thing not going down in the greyhound industry is the funding being handed over by the Irish Government. In continuing to fund this industry with taxpayers’ money (nearly a quarter of a billion euro since 2001, including €16 million earmarked for 2018), our politicians are shamefully disregarding the glaringly obvious signs that this is a dying industry in freefall. As community groups, sports clubs, health organisations, animal rescue centres and schools cry out for funding, the time has come for the government to finally stop squandering scarce public money on greyhound racing and re-direct it to where it matters.

49% fall in numbers of “active owners of racing greyhounds”
(Source: Irish Greyhound Board)

2007 14,869
2008 13,945
2009 12,362
2010 10,692
2011 9,826
2012 8,937
2013 8,530
2014 7,894
2015 7,604

25% fall in number of greyhound racing meetings
(Source: Irish Greyhound Board)

2006 2,190
2007 2,148
2008 2,147
2009 2,000
2010 1,849
2011 1,812
2012 1,837
2013 1,753
2014 1,736
2015 1,642

ACTION ALERT

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry).

Contact the Irish Government now. Email “Stop funding the cruel and crumbling greyhound industry” to taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Please sign and share the petitions

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

Stop the Export of Irish Greyhounds to Pakistan
https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-export-of-irish-greyhounds-to-pakistan

 

 

Ireland’s new Deputy PM and Culture Minister support bloodsports

21 Dec

Ireland’s new Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney, has shamefully participated in foxhunting, voted against a ban on hare coursing, refused to outlaw the digging-out of animals despite acknowledging that it involves “undue cruelty” and also dismissed calls for a ban on cruel fur farming, saying “we will not ban it”. In the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, Coveney included specific exemptions for foxhunting and hare coursing to allow both activities to continue despite the appalling cruelty involved.

Meanwhile, the new Arts and Heritage Minister, Josepha Madigan (who replaces Heather Humphreys TD) is on record as saying that hare coursing is “an integral part of the sporting year” and that a ban on the cruel bloodsport would have a “detrimental impact on rural Ireland”. This despite receiving an ICABS report which detailed the hare injuries and deaths caused by coursing.

See relevant quotes below.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us in contacting both politicians now to demand a ban on foxhunting, hare coursing, digging-out and fur farming.

Simon Coveney TD
Tanaiste/Deputy Prime Minister
Phone: +353 (0)1 408 2000
Email: simon.coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @simoncoveney
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SimonCoveney

Josepha Madigan TD
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Email: josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @josephamadigan

 

ANIMAL QUOTES: Simon Coveney and Josepha Madigan

Simon Coveney TD (Fine Gael, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Simon Coveney was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In February 2015, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney admitted that he has participated in the shameful bloodsport of foxhunting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SEDI-fYX3Y During a Dail in which he defended the cruel activity, Simon Coveney revealed: “I have hunted”. Despite acknowledging that he is “sure” that foxes get pulled apart by packs of hounds during foxhunts, he refused to ban the activity. “When I have hunted, I have never seen a fox being pulled apart,” he said. “I am sure, however, that it happens and I am not saying it does not.” Dismissing an impassioned appeal from Irish Council Against Blood Sports president, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, to embrace drag hunting and outlaw the hunting of live animals with packs of dogs, Coveney outlined that he and his colleagues are aiming to accommodate those who get their kicks from cruelty. “Our policy decisions try to strike a balance for those who derive great enjoyment from hunting,” he said. This included inserting an exemption into the Animal Health and Welfare Act which gives fox hunters immunity from prosecution for what would otherwise be an offence of animal cruelty.

“For the sake of clarity, this section does not apply to activity occurring during the normal course of hunting, fishing or coursing…We have done a separate review on fur farming, the details of which I can give to the Deputy. We will not ban it…” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012.

“It is not appropriate to simply outlaw hare coursing and hunting when they are pursued according to the codes of conduct drawn up by clubs. Considerable numbers of people are passionate about these pursuits and my job is to ensure that standards are met rather than simply outlawing practices.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 20th, 2012.

“We went to great lengths to ensure we were not doing anything that would prevent people from continuing to participate in field sports as they would have in the past, as long as that is in a way that is consistent with the codes of conduct enshrined in those sports, including coursing, hunting and fishing. The measure applies only if there is undue cruelty such as the digging out of animals when they have gone to ground, which is unacceptable. In the legislation I am not banning coursing and hunting through the back door. We are trying to get the balance right between facilitating field sports and ensuring the codes of practice agreed for those sports are respected. If people begin to operate outside these codes, that is a different issue.” Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael) Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 May 2012 Watch on Youtube

“I have probably answered Deputy Colreavy’s arguments on whether fur-farming and coursing are absolutely necessary. They are not. When something is not necessary for people to live and eat, it is a judgment call whether that means one should ban activities such as coursing and fur-farming, whether or not one likes them. It is my judgment that we should regulate rather than ban them.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage (Resumed) (Continued), 22 November 2012

“I am trying to get balanced legislation that takes account of farming and hunting practices in a reasonable way, but also provides appropriate protection for animals to ensure that we do not have either wanton or accidental cruelty because neither is acceptable.” Dail Eireann Questions and Answers, 10th May 2012

 

Josepha Madigan TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Rathdown)
In June 2016, Josepha Madigan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In an email to a constituent ahead of June 2016’s Dail Eireann vote on the bill to ban coursing, Josepha Madigan claimed that hare coursing is “an integral part of the sporting year” and that a ban on the cruel bloodsport would have a “detrimental impact on rural Ireland”. Despite having received an ICABS report which details the hare injuries and deaths caused by coursing, the Dublin Rathdown politician also made the outrageous claim that the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff “has proved effective in ensuring that the welfare of the hare is protected”. Our report detailed hares hit, mauled, injured and killed by greyhounds on coursing fields around the country. It also includes information on hares injured so severely, they had to be treated or put to sleep by vets. Read Josepha Madigan’s full statement at http://www.banbloodsports.com/ln160909.htm

Sinn Fein will not support additional funding for greyhound board

21 Dec

Sinn Fein TD, Martin Kenny, has confirmed that Sinn Fein’s opposition to government funding for the greyhound industry remains unchanged.

The party, which voted against the €16 million in funding for 2017, will similarly vote against an identical grant proposed for 2018.

“Sinn Fein’s position is clear on this issue,” Deputy Kenny stated in an email to ICABS. “Sinn Fein will not be supporting the funding to Bord na gCon and the Greyhound racing industry. The entire industry and board have fallen into disrepute because of the ongoing issues regarding doping of dogs and general mismanagement.”

“We acknowledge that the recent Bill goes some of the way to addressing these issues, but the reality is that the general public and many people with an interest in the greyhound industry have no confidence in Bord na gCon,” he added. “There needs to be a complete overhaul of the industry with proper regulation and supervision.”

Last December, although pointing out that he is not against racing, he stated: “I have serious doubts about the funds dispersed by Government to Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon…Why does horse racing prize money, in a sport populated by very rich owners and trainers, have to come from an Exchequer which cannot pay for the basic medical needs of our senior citizens, for instance?”

ICABS is continuing to urge Sinn Fein to reverse its outdated pro-coursing policy. At an Ard Fheis last month, delegates rejected a motion calling on Sinn Fein to support a ban on cruel coursing. Please join calls on the party to update its animal welfare policies – see action alert below.

ACTION ALERT

Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, minister@per.gov.ie

Please sign and share our petition
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
https://www.change.org/p/irish-government-stop-giving-millions-of-euro-to-cruel-greyhound-industry

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry

Urge Sinn Fein to back a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting, in line with the majority view that these cruel activities must be outlawed. Sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/sinn-fein-support-a-ban-on-cruel-hare-coursing

Email: admin@sinnfein.ie
Tel: 01 8726100 / 8726932 (Dublin) OR 02890 347350 (Belfast)
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein
Tweet: @sinnfeinireland Sinn Fein – Back a ban on cruel hare coursing and foxhunting


MARTIN KENNY TD AND ANIMAL ISSUES

Martin Kenny TD (Sinn Fein, Sligo Leitrim)
In June 2016, Martin Kenny was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

“The horse racing and greyhound industries not only have economic benefits but also bring great enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland every year. I have no wish to restrict the growth or development of these industries, although I have serious doubts about the funds dispersed by Government to Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon…Why does horse racing prize money, in a sport populated by very rich owners and trainers, have to come from an Exchequer which cannot pay for the basic medical needs of our senior citizens, for instance?…I cannot support the funding allocation to these two bodies and I will call a vote on the matter. It is outrageous that this money is being spent in this way.” Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

“Sinn Féin does not support this Bill, which sets out to amend the Wildlife Act by proposing to ban hare coursing completely. A ban on hare coursing is not compatible with Sinn Féin policy…Some rural practices may be distasteful to certain people and are often presented as cruel or abusive, as is the case here, as we have two opposing views on hare coursing. We believe Irish hare coursing practices should be properly regulated to ensure sustainable wildlife management and to minimise unnecessary suffering to all the animals involved. These regulated coursing meetings occur across the country in the winter months and are a part of rural life for the many who participate in these events…Hunting, fishing and hare coursing should continue to be regulated in the interests of sustainable wildlife management. This is not like blood sports by which I mean, dog fighting, badger baiting or cock fighting, which we all continue to oppose.” Martin Kenny TD during Dail debate on the bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016.

At a June 2010 meeting of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Kenny presented a motion in support of pro-bloodsports group, RISE: “I propose that Leitrim County Council notes the increasing level of popular support being expressed for the RISE (Rural Ireland Says Enough) campaign and shares the concerns it is highlighting, over legislation currently being proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley TD. This Council calls on the Government to listen to the concerns being expressed by those who engage in hunting…” The minutes of the meeting detail that Councillor Kenny claimed he is totally against cruelty to animals but that he went on to express opposition to legislation “if activities such as pheasant shooting, activities of the South Leitrim Harriers etc are curtailed or prevented.”

 

Robert Troy wants funding for greyhound track fire escape

21 Dec

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Shame on Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy for pushing for funding for Mullingar greyhound track at the end of a year in which the greyhound industry’s cruelty, doping and killing has received unprecedented media coverage.

According to a report in this week’s Westmeath Examiner, the Longford-Westmeath politician recently met with the CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board to ask about “investment in fire safety [at Mullingar track] as there are restrictions on the number who can be there at any one time because a new fire escape is needed”. This, he pointed out, “would help the track increase attendance figures and overall performance”.

In calling for money to be pumped into the Mullingar track, Deputy Troy is turning a blind eye to the suffering and death of dogs at this location. Recent Irish Greyhound Board statistics show that in the first ten months of the year, the Mullingar track was the worst in the country for on-track injuries. A total of 66 greyhounds suffered injuries there, with 14 of these destroyed.

It is particularly appalling that Robert Troy is seeking funds for greyhound racing, given that he is well aware of the suffering endured by the dogs used and abused in this industry. In a January 2016 parliamentary question, for example, he asked the then Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney “if he is aware of animal abuse suffered by greyhounds in the racing industry which includes lenient sanctions for persons who have committed grave abuses”.

This is not the first time that Robert Troy has used his position to push for funding for racing. In September, he lobbied the government to increase the amount of public funds being handed over to Longford greyhound stadium, a track privately-owned by a Scottish businessman.

In a parliamentary question, he asked Agriculture Minister Michael Creed “if he will provide financial assistance to [Longford] stadium”.

It emerged in the reply he received that the operational costs of the Longford track – which came close to closure this year due to a massive drop in track attendance – are being paid for with taxpayers’ money.

“I understand that Longford Greyhound Stadium are in receipt of annual operating grants of €40,000 along with grant assistance towards operating costs, specifically veterinary fees,” Minister Creed stated. “The Irish Greyhound Board has recently received a request for additional financial assistance from the supporters club of Longford Greyhound Stadium which is scheduled for Board consideration at their next board meeting.”

The government has already squandered €16 million on the cruel greyhound industry in 2017 (that’s over €300.000 every week of the year), bringing the total handed over since 2001 to around a quarter of a billion euro. The government is poised to hand over another €16 million for 2018.

ACTION ALERT

Contact Robert Troy TD and urge him to consider the suffering and deaths of dogs and stop pushing for funding for greyhound tracks.

Email: robert.troy@oireachtas.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 618 4059
Mobile: +353 (0)87 797 9890
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/roberttroytd/
Tweet to @RobertTroyTD

WESTMEATH EXAMINER REPORT

Troy wants money invested in local greyhound track
Westmeath Examiner, December 9th 2017

An appeal for increased expenditure by Bord na gCon at the greyhound track in Mullingar has been made directly to the board boss by Deputy Robert Troy.

“I asked about investment in fire safety as there are restrictions on the number who can be there at any one time because a new fire escape is needed,” said Deputy Troy, following last Wednesday’s meeting with Gerard Dollard, who has been at the helm of the organisation since the second half of this year.

This, Deputy Troy pointed out, would help the track increase attendance figures and overall performance.

Deputy Troy met with Mr Dollard at Dail Eireann and explained that in recent times, the track at Mullingar had been advised that action was needed on an improved fire escape route.

“Bord na gCon has sold Harold’s Cross Stadium and when they clear the debt they have from this, they will be looking to invest the money left over,” said Deputy Troy.

“Mr Dollard couldn’t give a commitment, but he said certainly, Mullingar will be in the mix.

“However, any money spent is going to have to be approved by the Department of Public Expenditure.”

“Positive test” for greyhound owned by singer Jimmy Buckley

21 Dec

jimmy buckley

A greyhound owned by Country & Western singer and hare coursing supporter, Jimmy Buckley, has been ruled out of a race in the UK “due to a positive test“.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) is reporting that “Connections of greyhound Jumeirah Lolls received a severe shock today when they learned that the bitch would not be running in the final of the English Oaks at Belle Vue tonight due to a positive test during the classic…The latest word suggests that she tested positive for pentobarbital which is no longer on the prohibited list in Ireland.”

The IGB statement added: “A disillusioned [greyhound trainer] Holian said, ‘I did nothing out of the way. I buy all my meat out of the factory where they kill all the animals themselves and I have never had a positive test after running dogs on the track and up the field all my life. I feel like packing up the whole thing’. Pentobarbital is basically used for putting down cattle.”

Buckley’s profile page on the IGB website show that he has had 573 greyhound race entries, the most recent one being on 18th November at Shelbourne Park.

There was widespread disgust in June after a Sunday World report detailed how Jimmy Buckley is “fighting to keep the sport that he loves alive”. The report included a photo of a greyhound chained onto a treadmill and another of Buckley holding the head of a mother greyhound as she suckled her puppies. It quoted him as saying: “When you have a new litter, I look at them and say, I wonder are any of you champions?”

Jimmy Buckley is a brother of greyhound trainer Pat Buckley, the individual who, as reported by ICABS earlier this year, provided a sworn affidavit in support of a greyhound handler disqualified from greyhound racing in Australia for participating in live baiting there. Despite horrific undercover footage showing greyhounds being unmuzzled to attack a pig who screamed in agony, Buckley’s statement to the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal praised greyhound handler Chris Connolly as a valued employee, saying “Chris is an integral part of our set up in my [Tipperary] kennels – we would be lost without him.”

Watch: Jimmy Buckley Supports Cruel Hare Coursing