Thomas Pringle TD

Greyhound Industry Should Not Be Funded From Public Purse

I spoke on the millions in public money given to the greyhound industry each year. Crucial areas such as domestic violence services, housing and health would benefit more from those funds. The pandemic has laid out difficult fiscal choices, balancing public health with the public purse.
Why am I talking about Covid, domestic violence and resources during a debate about a Private Members’ Motion on greyhounds? Because the greyhound industry receives huge sums of Exchequer funding; the amount for 2021 is €19.2m.
Because people have said to me, ‘greyhounds are getting more money than women’s services’,”
The Social Democrats’ Private Members Motion would reverse an increase of €2.4m in funding to the greyhound industry and call on Government to increase funding for the welfare of greyhounds and to phase out State support for the Irish greyhound racing industry.
Why is the State still funding the industry? After the 2019 RTÉ Investigates programme, ‘Running for Their Lives’ highlighted the cruel acts taking place in the industry. The advocacy groups have said greyhounds are being overbred and that some 6,000 are culled every year. Attendance at the events has dropped. Live hare coursing should also be banned.
I know that there are some greyhound breeders and owners who adore their dogs and treat them well. But, unfortunately, there are many who see them as money-making machines and weaker pups and litters as collateral damage.
I would like to see this type of racing done away with as a sport, but if it must still happen, it should certainly not be supplemented by the public purse. Nor should it be taking scarce resources away from areas such as domestic violence, housing, or health provision.
I am more than happy to support the motion and believe that it is important for us to defund the greyhound industry.
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