A DONEGAL TD has criticised the millions in public money given to the greyhound industry each year.
Killybegs-based Independent TD Thomas Pringle says crucial areas such as domestic violence services, housing and health would benefit more from those funds.
Deputy Pringle, addressing the Dáil this morning on a motion regarding the Greyhound Racing Board, said the pandemic has laid out difficult fiscal choices, balancing public health with the public purse.
Deputy Pringle said: “Why am I talking about Covid, domestic violence and resources during a debate about a Private Members’ Motion on greyhounds?
“Because the greyhound industry receives huge sums of Exchequer funding; the amount for 2021 is €19.2m.
“Because people have said to me, ‘greyhounds are getting more money than women’s services.”
The Social Democrats’ Private Members Motion would reverse an increase of €2.4m in funding to the greyhound industry and call on Government to increase funding for the welfare of greyhounds and to phase out State support for the Irish greyhound racing industry.
Deputy Pringle questioned why the State was still funding the industry, pointing to the 2019 RTÉ Investigates programme, ‘Running for Their Lives’ and the cruel acts taking place in the industry that the programme highlighted.
He said advocacy groups have said greyhounds are being overbred and that some 6,000 are culled every year. Attendance at the events has dropped.
Deputy Pringle said live hare coursing should also be banned.
He said: “I know that there are some greyhound breeders and owners who adore their dogs and treat them well. But, unfortunately, there are many who see them as money-making machines and weaker pups and litters as collateral damage.”
Deputy Pringle said he would like to see this type of racing done away with as a sport, and added: “If it must still happen, it should certainly not be supplemented by the public purse. Nor should it be taking scarce resources away from areas such as domestic violence, housing, or health provision.
“I am more than happy to support the motion and believe that it is important for us to defund the greyhound industry.”Tags: