RTE’s Prime Time Investigates will be airing a programme on the evening of Wednesday, June 26th, on what is being described as ‘the inside track on animal welfare issues in the greyhound industry’.
RTE had approached the IGB to provide a representative for an on camera interview regarding a wide range of subject matters across the industry. However, after much consideration into the matter, it was decided to provide RTE with detailed, written answers to any questions they wished to raise. This is due to any potential editing process misconstruing or misrepresenting any information provided verbally. An offer has also been made to consider a ‘live’ interview.
It is understood that a particular focus of the broadcast will centre on a business model analysis that was presented to the IGB by Preferred Results Ltd. The final report which was classified by Preferred Results Ltd. as ‘commercially sensitive’ was received by the IGB at end of September 2017.
Extracts from the Preferred Results report can be viewed here.
The Preferred Results report concentrated on a dog pool analysis relating to the years 2013/2014/2015. The dog pool analysis did not accord with what was clearly visible in the industry at the time the report was presented to the IGB in late September 2017. There has been some increase in dog pools since that time arising from the efforts of the IGB through incentive schemes to reduce the number of Irish bred greyhounds being exported to the UK.
The introduction of SIS meetings at Irish greyhound tracks since mid-2016, along with a number of extra race meetings, the introduction of ‘veteran’ races (as per the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-22 ) and the amending of the National Grading System to facilitate the grading and racing of novice greyhounds, has resulted in the retention of dogs in the dog pool and a reduction in the number of greyhounds being exported to the UK. Registrations with GBGB for Q1 in 2019 would indicate that the registration of Irish greyhounds are down c.4 % on the same period in 2018.
The IGB has consistently promoted the introduction of a traceability system so that more accurate accounting for dogs can be put in place. The IGB is pleased that the provision for a traceability system for greyhounds has been included in the Greyhound Racing Act 2019.
On rehoming, the IGB, through its established entity the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) secured 1,021 rehomings in 2018 through its direct efforts and through IRGT-assisted rehomings. It is an objective of the Strategic Plan 2018-2022 to ‘rehome an ever greater percentage of retired greyhounds… with the ultimate aim of almost total rehoming’.
Many positive stories have been published in local and national press (including RTE itself) in the last number of months. While the potential negative publicity from this programme may prove to be a setback in that regard, it emphasises the focus that all in the Irish greyhound industry need to have on ensuring the good, positive stories are told so as to continue to enhance the public perception of our industry which has improved in recent times.