The greyhound racing industry in the Republic of Ireland is regulated and promoted by the commercial semi-state body the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB). There are currently 17 IGB licensed greyhound racing tracks in the country. As of February 2013, there were 4,280 greyhounds in the pool of racing dogs.1
In the Republic of Ireland the greyhound racing industry receives government funding through the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund. Between 2006 through 2014 just over €100.10 million will have been paid out to Bord na gCon (the IGB) from this Fund.2
Irish greyhounds arrive in Macau, China. (Anima Macau)
Racing greyhounds on a treadmill at an Irish kennel. (Greyhound-Data)
Puppies bred for racing in Ireland. (Greyhound-Data)
Caged dogs at a greyhound kennel in Ireland. (Greyhound-Data)
Emily the greyhound was a former racer found abused and abandoned. (The Irish Sun)
Protesters against greyhound racing at the Curraheen track in Ireland. (Ban Blood Sports)
The majority of greyhounds racing in Ireland are bred in the country. In 2013, there were 2,736 litters registered in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book, a decrease of 36% since 2006.3
The IGB has Racing Regulations that include rules for betting and prize money, doping policies and requirements for racing officials.4 Additionally, the Irish government passed the Welfare of Greyhounds Act in 2011 that sets standards for certain greyhound breeding operations and general welfare requirements for housing, transport and record keeping.5
Wagering on greyhound racing is legal in Ireland. In 2013 the turnover, or amount bet by gamblers, at the IGB licensed tracks was € 28 million.6 Since 2006, the turnover has declined by 55.6%.7
Letter from Adrian Neilan, CFO, Irish Greyhound Board, to Gus Ryan, Chairman, Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation. April 15, 2013. (on file with author).
Houses of the Oireachtas, Dáil Éireann Debate-written answer No. 167, Vol. 792 No. 1, February 12, 2013; "Annual Reports," Irish Greyhound Board, igb.ie (accessed October 7, 2014); "Hayes welcomes the 2014 Budget Provision for Forestry, Horticulture and Greyhound Sectors," Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, October 15, 2013, agriculture.gov.ie (accessed October 7, 2014); "McEntee welcomes the 2013 Budget Provision for Forestry, Horticulture and Greyhound Sectors," Merrion Street, December 5, 2012, merrionstreet.ie (accessed October 7, 2014).
Idecon International Consultants, "Review of Certain Matters Relating to Bord nag Con," Irish Greyhound Board, July 7, 2014 igb.ie (accessed October 6, 2014).
Greyhound Industry (Racing) Regulations, 2007 (No. 302 of 2007).
Welfare of Greyhounds Act, 2011 (No. 29 of 2011).
Idecon International Consultants, "Review of Certain Matters Relating to Bord nag Con."
On June 2, 2016, hundreds of people opposed to the export of Irish greyhounds came together for a rally for the dogs. Greyhound advocates and adoption leaders from Australia, Italy, Macau, United Kingdom and the United States assembled with John Carmody and ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) outside the Dept. of Agriculture, where GREY2K USA delivered our petition with over 300,000 signatures to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. The rally ended with a march to the doors of Parliament and a meeting with lawmakers.