Social Democrats seek to stop government funding for greyhound racing industry
The matter is being brought before the Dáil on Wednesday.
The Social Democrats party is seeking to stop funding for the greyhound industry in Ireland, claiming it is "indefensible" for the government to give it €2.4 million in additional funding.
The Cork South West TD Holly Carins is set to bring a motion to the Dáil tomorrow (25 November) to have the plan reversed.
Cairns is also hoping to introduce the phasing out of State support for the industry by the year 2025.
This comes after it emerged that in 2021, greyhound racing in Ireland will receive €19.2m from the state – an increase of €2.4m.
This is despite a significant drop in the numbers attending race meetings and "declining advertising revenues", according to a statement released by the SocDems.
The party also claimed that the industry has received approximately €280m in taxpayer funding since 2000 and also pointed to figures which, according to the party statement, show that turnover from greyhound racing activities in Ireland has steadily declined over the last decade (€32.9 million in 2010 to €22.7 million in 2017), while state funding has increased in the same period (€11.9 million in 2010 to €16.8 million in 2020).
Cairns wrote: "Last year, a shocking ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme laid bare the horrific treatment of greyhounds by some of those involved in the sport. This is an industry where 16,000 greyhounds are bred each year – 1,000% more than are needed. Of these, 6,000 are culled for spurious reasons, ranging from a decline in performance to not being fast enough to compete on the track.
"The overarching appalling standards of care make it difficult to understand the justification for continued State funding. In contributing millions of euros of public money to greyhound racing every year, the Government is propping up an inherently cruel sport which the Irish public has been increasingly rejecting.
"In the middle of a pandemic, when there isn’t money available for things like domestic violence refuge spaces or disability support services, the Government not only continues to fund greyhound racing, but actually increases the level of funding for the sector.
"This is unconscionable and cannot be allowed to continue."