It’s time to improve animal welfare in the uncaring underbelly of the Irish greyhound industry

Two weeks ago, eleven Irish racing greyhounds died en route to Spain via France on the Irish Ferries vessel “The Oscar Wilde”.

The ferry docked at Cherbourg on the afternoon of Monday October 27th and the dogs were found to have asphyxiated in a transport van. There were 2 dogs per crate , in clear violation of the Greyhound Welfare Act 2011 and of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport. The dogs were registered racing dogs and were bound for Spain where they were reportedly to be used for breeding with Spanish Galgos (the local type of Spanish greyhound).


  • Ireland produces too many “failed” greyhounds
  • There is no system in place for tracking their outcome
  • Many end up in appalling situations e.g. in Spain

What needs done?

  • There should be tracking of the fate of all greyhounds
  • People who are guilty of poor animal welfare should be punished
  • There should be incentives for better rehoming of unwanted greyhounds


  • The Irish public want good greyhound welfare
  • More people will go to races if the welfare situation improves
  • The IGB has new leadership so this is a good time for change

Here  are the details of the two greyhounds that were in studio today:

Dailtin is seven years old and was found abandoned in Carlow 4 years ago.

She was registered but never raced as she is too small. When she was found, she could not use one of her back legs. It was discovered that her leg had broken and she had never had any veterinary care for the injury so the bones knitted oddly. She was covered in mange, missing most of her coat and completely emaciated. A lady found her on her doorstep during the freezing January back in 2010 and took her to the pound. She was rescued from the pound.

Pixie is also 7 but she was rehomed directly by her trainer.

She ran a few races but wasn’t particularly successful and her owners, who were lovely people, passed her on to Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary (you can find them on Facebook here.)


  • Georgina Spiers says:

    Thank you for highlighting greyhounds because they have a very rough deal overall which is driven by the greed of some horrible undesirable people in our society. I will never forget the image of the greyhounds hanging from trees because the people who took and used them for their “pleasure of hunting” couldn’t be bothered to keep them. It was horrible, inhumane, and so, so cruel. Those poor dogs they’d worked hard for their owners and to be dishonoured in such a way is incredible.

  • Great to see this publicity for the greys. Maybe people will think before they support the industry that causes the problems.

    Sadly the government aren’t behind you on this one – budget gives 68 million euro (an increase of 14 million on last year) to the horse and greyhound racing industries that cause the problem; 1.8 million (an increase of 0, zip, zero) to the animal welfare organisations that pick up the pieces. What does that tell you of the government’s commitment to Irish animal welfare? Answers on a postcard to Simon Coveney, Department of Agriculture, Marine & Food, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2; 01-6763925;

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