Greyhound racing followed all other sports into suspension mode at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday and the Irish Greyhound Board has been quick to announce that a greyhound care payment scheme has been put in place to take care of racing greyhounds during this period of uncertainty.
Each greyhound which has been active in the pool i.e. any greyhound which has raced or had an official trial at any of the IGB licence tracks in the previous 42 days prior to the commencement of the suspension, will receive a daily payment of €2 for the duration of the stoppage due to Covid-19.
The scheme will come into effect from April 8, and neither trainers nor owners are required to make any application for this payment as they will already be registered within the IGB’s racing system along with their greyhound(s). The payment will be processed on a fortnightly basis and will be reviewed after a month, providing the Covid-19 controls remain in place.
Also, the fee for registering new greyhound litters within 14 days of whelping will be waived which, according to an IGB statement, said: “will ensure that an element of the costs associated with breeding activity will not apply during the current crisis. This will assist in ensuring the system for breeding and registering of greyhounds continues to be supported.”
IGB Chairman Frank Nyhan said: “The care and welfare of racing greyhounds remains a priority action for the IGB and the wider greyhound community. The current Covid-19 crisis has required the suspension of racing activity which results in an income loss for those involved in the greyhound industry.
“The purpose of the Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme is to ensure that the care and welfare of greyhounds continues to remain a priority and that funding is available to the greyhound community to support the costs associated with the daily care of their greyhounds.”
The IGB has also confirmed that it has made its facilities and staff available to assist, where required, in support of the national effort to combat Covid 19.