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Macau greyhound misery must end

I've lost count of how often I’ve heard coursing and track racing fans tell us how much they love their dogs.

The Irish Greyhound Board and the Irish Coursing Club are supposedly committed to “the highest standard of dog welfare” and both organisations claim to cherish the role of these wonderful dogs in rural life, sport and culture.

Yet how silent they are when greyhounds are condemned to a miserable end beyond our shores. No objection from these noted dog lovers to the export of greyhounds to be raced on the cruellest and most dangerous track in the world.

The Canidrome racing track at Macau, China, is badly maintained, far too long and narrow and is extremely accident-prone. But our so-called “greyhound industry” seems to think it’s fine for dogs to run on.

The Macau Society for the Protection of Animals, which monitors activities at the Canidrome, states that more than 30 greyhounds — most of them young and healthy — die there every month and all dogs used on the track are eventually killed. There are no rescue centre or pet adoption options available for them.

Since 1963 thousands of Australian greyhounds have died at the track, but last December two major airlines (Qantas and Cathay Pacific) refused to transport any more dogs from Australia to Macau. This has created a shortage of racers at the Canidrome that is now, sadly, being filled by Irish greyhounds.

I wonder if there’s any chance the Irish Republic’s greyhound industry might call a halt to this scandal?

If not, I appeal to the incoming government to intervene to save these unfortunate dogs. Man’s best friend deserves better than a man-made hell on Earth.


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