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China deserves own greyhound industry

IN response to recent and unfair criticisms of the Irish Greyhound Board’s examination of establishing a brand new greyhound industry in China, the following positive outcomes for our country need to be highlighted.

There will be a substantial multi-year economic return to the Government as well as to the thousands of greyhound owners and breeders throughout the country via a brand new export opportunity of greyhounds to China.

The Chinese authorities have also requested our expertise in the design, build and subsequent long-term management of brand new stadia throughout China, as well as requesting our expertise on world-leading integrity, welfare and governance standards.

Should this get the go-ahead from both the Department of Agriculture and Department of Finance then we will be ensuring that our world leading stringent standards would be followed on all matters relating to health and welfare of the greyhounds racing in China under the supervision of Irish vets, trainers and stewards.

The Irish Greyhound Board would own and care for all of the greyhounds being transported and raced in China, which will ensure absolute control and integrity within a very strong welfare framework that is already provided by the Board.

We will not do anything abroad that is going to damage our brand reputation.

It must be pointed out that greyhound racing is responsible for close to 11,000 jobs, generating over €500 million in Ireland and our racing, breeding and welfare standards are worldwide benchmarks.

Last year greyhound racing in Ireland saw a 30% increase in tourists visiting our venues and we will host a further 40,000 tourists this year at our tracks countrywide, which shows that this fabulous and successful sport is an exciting value for money entertainment product suitable for all ages and segments of society.

The Chinese people are being unfairly targeted in these criticisms and are entitled to have their own greyhound industry as much as any other country, and indeed they have approached us to learn about our best practice methods.

This initiative can help form closer bonds between our countries and in the process boost cultural, economic and tourism ties.

Adrian Neilan

CEO

Irish Greyhound Board

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