Petition update

ISPCA resigns from Greyhound Forum

Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Mullingar, Ireland

Apr 4, 2020 — 

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has resigned from the International Greyhound Forum.

The forum comprises members of Irish and UK animal welfare groups alongside those exploiting greyhounds for racing and coursing, i.e. the Irish Greyhound Board, Irish Coursing Club and Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly confirmed the move, tweeting this week: "The ISPCA resigned from the IGF in January because we do not believe that the measures introduced by the Irish Greyhound Board to improve welfare are workable and that they will not address the real problem - over-production of greyhounds."

"We also resigned as we can no longer engage with the Irish Coursing Club," he added.

ICABS welcomes this move by the ISPCA - Ireland’s largest national animal welfare charity - and hopes the other groups on the Greyhound Forum (Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, PAWS Animal Welfare, Greyhound Trust and RSPCA) will follow suit. Now is the time to push for a complete ban on greyhound racing and hare coursing which are responsible for so much suffering and death.

Greyhound racing is dependent on the breeding of thousands of dogs, with many of those too slow to win races later discarded and mercilessly killed. As revealed in the shocking RTE documentary "Greyhounds Running For Their Lives", 6,000 greyhounds are killed in Ireland every year. The programme included disturbing video footage of greyhounds being delivered to a knackery to be shot in the head and dumped in a skip. Watch on the RTE Player or on Youtube

Many greyhounds also suffer and die at greyhound tracks. Sickening Irish Greyhound Board statistics reveal that at tracks around Ireland in the past five years, at least 1,813 greyhounds suffered injuries and 592 were killed. This does not include greyhounds injured at tracks, taken away and killed elsewhere.

In October, the ISPCA re-iterated its opposition to hare coursing, saying "hare coursing is cruel and should be consigned to the history books on disease control, conservation, animal welfare and ethical grounds."

In a statement, it condemned a decision by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, to allow coursing to continue despite the presence in Ireland of the deadly and highly contagious RHD2 virus which threatens the future of the Irish Hare.

"To allow such activities to take place is irresponsible and reckless given the potential serious risk to hares," the ISPCA stated. "The ISPCA is urging the Minister to exercise the precautionary principle and reinstate the suspension of licenses with immediate effect and if RHD2 continues to spread, to introduce a permanent ban on taking hares from the wild in order to protect and conserve the endemic Irish hare. The Minister is supposed to protect Irish wildlife, not gamble with its survival."

It noted that "in the last four [coursing] seasons, 74 hares have been killed or so seriously injured by greyhounds during coursing events that they had to be put to sleep by a vet" and that this is "completely unacceptable and cannot be justified".

A majority of Irish citizens want the government to ban cruel hare coursing. A Red C poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has shown that 77% are in favour of a ban, while just 9% disagree with a ban. The same poll found that 77% are also in favour of a ban on foxhunting and a two-thirds majority want an end to the state grants that are keeping greyhound racing afloat. The government must act and finally stop hare coursing, foxhunting and greyhound racing.


Contact the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Green Party and Labour to tell them that you want hare coursing, fox hunting and greyhound racing ended.

Leo Varadkar
Leader, Fine Gael
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-619 4020
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Micheál Martin
Leader, Fianna Fail
Constituency Office
137 Evergreen Road,
Turner’s Cross, Cork
Phone: 021-432 0088
Leinster House: 01–618 3000
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Mary Lou McDonald TD
Leader, Sinn Fein
Tel: (01) 727 7102

Eamon Ryan
Leader, Green Party
Tel: 01 618 3894

Alan Kelly TD
Leader, Labour Party
Tel: 067 34190
Twitter: @alankellylabour

Please sign and share petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Ireland - Ban cruel hare coursing

Stop supporting the cruel greyhound industry

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Sinn Fein: Support a ban on cruel hare coursing

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