THE RECENTLY released dog control statistics from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government show a fall in the number of greyhounds destroyed in dog pounds, compared to previous years. Two hundred and three greyhounds, bearing identification tattoos are listed as being destroyed in dog pounds in 2015. However, this does not indicate a rise in greyhounds being homed, or a fall in the number of greyhounds destroyed each year in Ireland.
What the figures do not tell is the true figure of these beautiful animals continuing to be destroyed each year in Ireland. GRAI do know of tiny increase in greyhounds homed due to some Local Authority Pounds no longer accepting greyhounds. While GRAI wholly welcome any increase in greyhound adoption, we do have serious concerns for greyhounds refused by LAPs who are not homed. GRAI are aware of perfectly healthy greyhounds, and greyhounds who have not raced but have injuries both untreated and not investigated by the racing authorities, being surrendered to LAPs.
The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation have argued that greyhounds have very thorough traceability in their calls for an exemption on microchipping rules for greyhounds. The 2015 Dog Control figures show further that huge questions continue over such traceability of the tens of thousands of greyhounds born in Ireland each year. GRAI Press Officer, Richard King, explains that “While the traceability of greyhounds looks good on paper the reality is very different and continues to raise alarming concerns for the fate of greyhounds in Ireland. Thousands are bred, few are homed, and Local Authority Pound figures for the last two years only add to the fact that greyhounds can simply disappear with no explanations asked for”. Richard adds “Anyone can look up details of a greyhound and be left feeling that the greyhound is accounted for. The details of tens of thousands of greyhounds do not show if they are homed, still alive, or exported. There are transfer of ownership regulations that would give some help with traceability for those exported but the regulations are, and have, often been breached without any comeback. There needs to be a massive shake up of enforcement and further regulations that would show the full traceability of greyhounds”.