I have no plans to stop giving millions of euro to greyhound industry: Minister Creed
28 October 2016
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has declared that he will NOT stop giving millions of euros of taxpayers' money to the cruel and failing greyhound industry. Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD, Minister Creed claimed that greyhound racing - which is slowly dying with plummeting attendance and sponsorship - is "part of the social fabric of our country".
In his reply to Deputy O'Sullivan, Minister Creed fails to acknowledge that greyhound racing has experienced a massive 50 per cent drop in attendance in recent years as well as 58 per cent falls in tote and sponsorship. This strongly suggests that, contrary to his claim that it is "part of the social fabric of our country", Irish people are unquestionably rejecting greyhound racing.
The Irish Greyhound Board has received nearly a quarter of a billion - €229 million - of taxpayers' money since 2001. In a pre-budget submission to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports stated: "Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in greyhound racing and are rightly opposed to cruelty to animals."
Michael Creed, along with Finance Minister Michael Noonan, have both been involved in greyhound racing. In July 2012, the Irish Examiner reported Michael Noonan and Michael Creed's part in a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who "stumped up €250 each for a share in Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials."
The Irish Greyhound Board website shows that their dog was entered into 65 races between July 2012 and August 2014 and won 7. The total prize money is listed at €2,179. Her last race was at Mullingar greyhound track on 30th August 2014 when she came last. It remains unknown if Swift Starlet is still alive. Emails and tweets asking if she is alive or dead have been sent out to Ministers Creed and Noonan, and to co-owners of the dog, but have gone unanswered.
The Irish greyhound industry is inherently cruel, with dogs injured, abandoned and brutally killed. Thousands of greyhounds go "missing" every year as a result of not being fast enough to make money for unscrupulous owners.
Join the protest against greyhound racing and greyhound exports - outside the Dept of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin on Wednesday November 9th, 11am to 4.30pm
More details at https://www.facebook.com/events/1165754430173146/
Question 36 - Answered on Thursday, 27th October 2016
Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent)
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his views on calls by animal welfare groups to decrease if not cease financing the greyhound industry that has significant decreasing public interest and instead invest in industries which do not support cruel treatment of animals in the name of sport.
Michael Creed (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine)
Bord na gCon's income is derived from two sources, namely; turnover from racing facilities and financial support provided by my Department from the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund, under Section 12 of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act, 2001.
State funding provided from the Fund is pivotal to the survival and continued development of the horse and greyhound racing industries. In accordance with the provisions of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act, 2001, the level of financial support provided to Bord na gCon is approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
In accordance with the Act, 80% and 20% of the monies paid into the Fund each year are distributed between Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon, respectively.
The funding being provided to the greyhound racing sector helps sustain a long standing tradition as the industry is part of the social fabric of our country. This funding is of particular importance to the economic activity of rural areas. It has also contributed significantly to the improved facilities now available at greyhound tracks around Ireland.
The greyhound industry also contributes significantly to tourism in Ireland, having successfully identified and developed a niche market among continental European visitors.
Bord na gCon estimates that the greyhound industry contributes approcimately €500 million in economic output, as well as creating a valuable source of employment. Since 2002, over 10 million people have attended greyhound racing meetings.
In addition, I understand from Bord na gCon that in 2015, €5m was raised at Irish Greyhound Board stadia for charitable organisations such as schools, clubs, healthcare charities and community projects. The money was raised through Fundraising/Benefit Nights hosted at the venues in conjunction with race nights.
Given the benefit of the Greyhound Industry to Irish society, I have no plans to reduce funding of the sector.
Read our submission
Government grants to Irish greyhound board
€16 million for 2017
€14.8 million in 2016
€13.6 million in 2015
€10.4 million in 2014
€11.0 million in 2013
€11.3 million in 2012
€11.5 million in 2011
€11.8 million in 2010
€13.6 million in 2009
€15.2 million in 2008
€14.5 million in 2007
€14.0 million in 2006
€13.6 million in 2005
€13.3 million in 2004
€12.8 million in 2003
€13.6 million in 2002
Please sign and share our petition
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
Given the ongoing fall in attendances at tracks, it is clear that the general public has little interest in greyhound racing. Tell the Irish Government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.
Minister for Finance
(Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, Minister of State Andrew Doyle)
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD
Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw
Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Tweet to @ADoyleTD