A shocking investigation into the greyhound industry in Ireland has revealed that almost 6,000 dogs are killed each year for failing to run at racing speed.
‘Greyhounds, Running for Their Lives’ is a documentary from RTÉ that also found that 1000% more dogs are being bred than are needed to sustain the industry.
The programme reveals the disturbing truth behind one of the country’s most traditional sports.
The investigation into the industry found that there were 16,000 greyhounds were born in Ireland in 2017. It also discovered that 5,987 of these animals were killed because they failed to run at qualification times or their performance was in decline.
The documentary also discovered that half of the 30 licensed knackeries in Ireland said they would be willing to put a greyhound down for as little as €10 to €35 each.
The documentary explains that this is despite assertions by the Department of Agriculture – which licenses and polices knackeries – that “dogs, including greyhounds, are classified as a Category 1 animal and cannot enter a Category 2 plant (knackery), dead or alive.
“Euthanasia of greyhounds or other animals … is not approved”, according to RTÉ.
In some disturbing footage, the documentary shows some animals being killed and dumped in a skip, and one can be seen writhing in agony after being shot with a single bullet to the back of the head.
The journalists behind the RTÉ documentary tell viewers that the greyhound racing industry received €16.8m in government funding this year.
It was also revealed that there is evidence of 20 dogs being exported to China since 2016, where it is believed they will be bred to supply the underground dog-racing scene there.