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I WOULD like to raise a few issues relating to the article regarding greyhounds for China.
I think Mr Neilan needs to look again at his comments, I would like to highlight a few salient points from his letter. Firstly: “We will not do anything abroad that is going to damage our brand reputation”. Has Mr Neilan actually forgotten we are talking about living creatures here, and not a packet of corn flakes?
Secondly: “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”.
It may well be responsible for 11,000 jobs, but if he continues with this plan, how is he going to tell the families they have no jobs, when this industry takes a nose dive, and tourism walks away from Irish shores? Thirdly: “This initiative can help form closer bonds between our countries and in the process boost cultural, economic and tourism ties”. Is Ireland about to take on China’s cultural ethics as well as sending these poor dogs to certain death... are we about to see live animal markets in Dublin and dogs being skinned alive?
And finally, the most important one: “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.” Could Mr Neilan please explain how he is going to ensure this, when we have thousands of dogs in Ireland and the UK unaccounted for, how is he going to ensure the dogs are treated with the respect, and humanity they deserve when we have dogs in Ireland and the UK which are needlessly killed?
Thousands of people have signed an online petition asking for this venture not to go ahead. Can Mr Neilan please tell us, what will happen to these dogs once their racing days are over, will they be brought back to Ireland and re-homed as pets? I think not.
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