Press Release: No Holiday for Racing Greyhounds in Spain

Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) is concerned that Irish greyhounds are being purchased at greyhound sales in Ireland for the express purpose of export to Spain for racing.

GRAI’s spokesperson Andrea Lynch reported ‘ Just recently Spanish buyers were seen at the Thurles Sales buying 20 Greyhounds, which are now kenneled somewhere in Co. Tipperary. We have been informed that when their passports are in order they will be transported to Southern Spain, Estremadura. Estremadura has a very bad history of abusing Galgos (Spanish Greyhounds). It is big hunting country. An oval track has been built but is not yet licensed so no official betting is allowed. However, it is likely that racing will start as soon as the dogs are in place’.

This seems to reflect a recent statement by the Irish Greyhound Board’s CEO Adrian Neilan, who stressed industry plans to ‘monetize’ their ‘product’ at the international level. In the present climate, more Irish greyhounds are likely to be exported to Spain as the demand for them in Ireland decreases and the greyhound industry looks for new markets.

In spite of the fact that the Government introduced greyhound welfare legislation in Ireland in 2011 to protect racing greyhounds, these dogs are simply allowed to be sent to abroad to countries where no such legislation exists, and in spite of some countries being well know for poor animal welfare standards. Spain in particular has a proven record of especially inhumane treatment to Spanish greyhounds (Galgos).

GRAI spokesperson Una Phelan added ‘We can’t allow Irish greyhounds to be exported to this country for short financial gain by some breeders, owners and trainers. This is the 21st century and barbaric practices, such as the abuse of Spanish greyhounds should not be encouraged or endorsed by the Irish Government by allowing Irish greyhounds to be sent to this country, where they may face the same fate.’

Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) are urgently calling on Minister Simon Coveney to reject any export licences required to enable these unfortunate greyhounds to be exported to Spain and other locations. GRAI are also calling on anyone concerned about the fate of these greyhounds to sign the petition.

For further information please contact:
Andrea Lynch
PR Officer for GRAI

Email: pr@grai.ie
Phone: +353(87) 112 9868.