Minister must intervene in Greyhound Industry Crisis
Greyhound racing enthusiasts will be met with a picket at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Track on Saturday 4th of February, the protest is being organised by the Dublin Greyhound Breeders and Owners Association and has strong support from greyhound supporters across the country against the proposal to sell off Harold’s Cross Greyhound Track and the lack of progress on addressing the longstanding problems in the industry.
Labour Senator Denis Landy raised the issue in the Seanad this week and called on Mr. Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture and Food to directly intervene in the crisis in the industry and urgently address the concerns of greyhound owners regarding Harold’s Cross and other issues. Senator Landy has requested Minister Creed to bring forward the long awaited and promised Greyhound Bill to tackle the multiplicity of problems in the industry including misuse of drugs, governance, financial failures, procedures within the Bord Na cGon , control of frozen semen etc.
“The Irish greyhound industry is in a very dire situation, interest and confidence has ebbed from the industry over many years. Unless strong legislation is brought forward it will be too late, supporters and patrons of greyhound racing have voted with their feet and attendances at race tracks and ownership of greyhounds continue to fall despite the upturn in the economy. Unless dog owners and trainers can compete safe in the knowledge that every dog is running on their merits and drug free, the industry will continue to wither and will die altogether.
The time for discussion, meetings and reports are over. We need strong robust laws to bring confidence back into greyhound racing. We need a realistic financial plan to reduce the Bord Na gCon debt of 21 m Euros that will make the industry viable again. The way forward does not entail the Bord Na gCon strategy of putting the “Head in the Sand” in the belief that selling Harold’s Cross is a resolution to all the problems, it is not” concluded Senator Landy.