Greyhound business in very deep trouble

Public money belonging to all of us has been used to write off about €1.6m of debts at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium in Tralee.

At a time when public services - in health, housing and education - are under such enormous stress, this expensive debt write-off may rightly be regarded as both expensive and significant.

Greyhound racing, and the greyhound industry generally, is under attack and the future is very uncertain, to say the least.

Animal rights groups demanding an end to the use of greyhounds for racing and entertainment have been strengthened by the recent RTÉ Investigates programme which detailed appalling practices and abuses of dogs by certain people engaged in the industry.

The greyhound industry itself has also been careless with its own reputation and must share the blame for the current public disillusionment about the greyhound business.

There has been massive overbreeding which, inevitably, has led to about 6,000 healthy dogs being culled every year.

This has been an unforced, self-inflicted injury which could and should have been avoided.

The vast majority of breeders and others involved with greyhounds are honest, decent people who love their animals and treat them well. They have been let down by others.

It’s still not too late to save the greyhound industry. But it needs to get its house in order before it’s too late.