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Should greyhound racing be banned?

Should greyhound racing be banned?

A total of 139 greyhounds were put down last year after suffering serious racetrack injuries.

Of the almost 100,000 greyhounds raced at tracks in the full 2016 racing calendar, 427 suffered on-track injuries, figures released by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) for the first time have shown.

There were 81 injuries at Mullingar track, 51 at Shelbourne Park, 35 at Harold’s Cross, 34 at Limerick, and 21 at Newbridge.

The most common injury was to a dog’s hock, or ankle, and an IGB spokesman said injuries can range from mild to serious and that a diminished quality of life is the key determinant on which a track vet makes a decision to put down a greyhound.

Arising from veterinary advice, 139 injured dogs were euthanised — 0.14% of all greyhounds raced. Most of the dogs were put down at the Kingdom Greyhound Track in Tralee, with 18 dogs euthanised, with tracks in Mullingar and Dundalk accounting for 15 each, Longford, 10 and Waterford, were eight dogs were destroyed.

The figure is slightly up on 2015 when 95,127 dogs raced, 421 were injured, and 122 were put down on veterinary advice — 0.13% of dogs raced.

The IGB said control stewards carry out a track inspection prior to all race meetings and trial sessions.

It said “The track vet attends all race meetings and sales trials to ensure that appropriate care is provided to injured greyhounds and to advise the stewards on welfare,” i

“As with any sport involving speed and athleticism, injuries do occasionally occur and best veterinary care and advice is followed in every case.”

IGB welfare manager, Barry Coleman, said the board has identified best practice in track maintenance and these maintenance procedures are implemented at tracks nationwide.

Austin Noonan of the Limerick and Clare Greyhound Owners Breeders Association, described the figures as “an unfortunate outcome for all involved in the sport”.

However animal rights activists are shocked at the figures with many continuously calling for the sport to be banned.

Animal rights activist John Carmody said “The number of dogs killed on these Irish racetracks due to injuries is shocking and few people, I bet, are aware of it. There’s little the industry can do at this stage that will spin their deaths in any other way. Most people who go for a night at the dogs will be horrified to learn of this and I hope that they will refuse to have anything go to do with this industry that is appearing more desperate by the day.”

Today I want to know if you think the sport should be banned or if you think it is a sport and there is nothing wrong with it.

Supporters of the sport will say that unfortunately dogs will be injured or die in the sport similar to any sport involving animals or humans.

For example in formula one racing, it is a dangerous sport and some people can unfortunately get injured or die in serious situations. Yet people don’t call for a ban on formula.

Obviously humans can make the conscious decision to take part in the sport and people will argue that animals get no decision and are bred for the sport.

Today I want to know what you think –

Do you think greyhound racing should be banned?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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