By Emma Butler
Forever Hounds Trust is dismayed to read reports of ‘business as usual’ in greyhound breeding in Ireland, despite the Covid-19 crisis, with demand in England being cited as positive for the industry.
The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) have published an article on their website quoting Newpark Stud proprietor, Sean Bourke as saying up to 30% of greyhounds in England will have been ‘retired’ by the time racing resumes, and more will have been rehomed due to their age and because trainers don’t have space to gallop all of them with no racing. Bourke is quoted as saying that the good news for Irish breeders is that these dogs will need to be replaced.
With the current restrictions in place Forever Hounds Trust are very concerned about any potential attempts to retire or rehome greyhounds, as there is currently very, very little capacity in the dog rescues to accommodate new intake.
It is abhorrent that dogs might be discarded during this very difficult time only to be replaced once the restrictions are lifted, leaving animal rescue organisations once again picking up the pieces – and the tab.
Surely the only moral thing to do right now would be to restrict breeding of greyhounds – and indeed all dogs – to enable the racing industry and the rescue centres to cope with the current, already overwhelming, situation?
In addition, Sean Bourke is quoted as saying there have been no problem collecting bitches and dropping them back to their owners as it comes under the ‘care of animals exemption to the restrictions’. How can transporting dogs around for breeding purposes be claimed to be ‘care of animals’? The only transportation that should be allowed for greyhounds at the moment is for emergency veterinary care or emergency rescue work. NOT in order to bring more dogs into a system that cannot cope with those already in existence. The link to the full ICC article can be found here: https://irishcoursingclub.ie/news/sporting-press-article-6/?fbclid=IwAR3BNMbCNMIPUd0qYXtS8ZVXJRfJzeRuGcSuUSHN3rzzII6i0N43tKs37KU