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Irish Greyhound Board approves 2020 allocation with €3.4m spend on welfare and regulation

The Board of Bord na gCon has approved the budget for the Irish Greyhound Board for 2020. 

Overall, the budget proposes net expenditure of €30.8m across its range of activities.  Prize money allocation for 2020 remains at a similar level for 2019 with an overall sum of €9.4m provided in the 2020 budget. 

An overall sum of €740,000 is expected to accrue to the Greyhound Care Fund which is dedicated to initiatives for the care and welfare of the racing greyhound.  This, combined with the funding available from 2019, will permit spending of over €1m on Care Fund initiatives in 2020. 

The IGB’s overall spend on welfare and regulation in 2020 is estimated at €3.4m when account is taken of expenditure on veterinary services at tracks, operation of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust and the IGB’s welfare and regulatory teams. 

The Care Fund will be utilised to provide funding for the following:

  • The introduction of a traceability system which has recently been tendered for by the IGB.  Tenders close on 16th December 2019.
  • The provision of greyhound care centres which were recently tendered for and for which 16 tenders were received.  These are at present nearing the final stages of evaluation and a recommendation will be made to the Board shortly in relation to same.
  • The appointment of a Director of Care & Welfare to drive the care & welfare function in accordance with the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
  • The funding of re-homing including the partnership entered into with the Greyhound Pets of America for the re-homing of retired greyhounds in the USA.  Transportation of retired greyhounds to Boston and Atlanta has recently taken place and it is intended that the partnership will expand throughout 2020.
  • The provision of an extended fostering programme as a short-term arrangement prior to permanent re-homing of retired greyhounds.  At present 51 greyhounds are being cared for in 15 separate foster arrangements. 
  • The provision of funding for the ‘injuries at tracks greyhound recovery scheme’ provides funding to assist the recuperation of greyhounds following a serious injury at a greyhound racing event.  Funding of up to €500 is available to open to all owners and trainers who have incurred veterinary costs in the treatment of greyhounds to repair a career-ending orthopaedic (bone) injury sustained at an IGB licenced stadium. Applications will be assessed on the basis that the greyhound will immediately retire from competitive action (trials and races) following its treatment.
  • Supporting private re-homing centres through the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust to facilitate the care and welfare of retired greyhounds towards identifying a “forever” home for the greyhound. 

Income from media rights at €2.1m shows an increase of €497,000 from 2019 given the transmission of nine greyhound race meetings weekly on the SIS network.

Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, commented: 

“Bord na gCon’s budget for 2020 has a priority focus on the care and welfare of the greyhound. We are anticipating over €1 million to be available from the Greyhound Care Fund, targeted at a range of important care and welfare initiatives, including the introduction of a traceability system.”

“When implemented, the traceability system will record the location and controller details of a racing greyhound throughout key events   – birth, microchipping, registration, racing career, changes of ownership, controller, location, export, retirement and end of life.”

“The Irish greyhound industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy annually and is a very important industry in the context of both rural and urban Ireland.”

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Ronan Coughlan