In August 2019, Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) announced the establishment of a separate Care Fund dedicated to funding a variety of initiatives for the care and welfare of the greyhound, including:
- Various rehoming initiatives in conjunction with the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT), established and operated by GRI, which assisted in the rehoming of over 1,000 greyhounds in 2018.
- The provision and upkeep of ‘greyhound care centres’, which are intended to help the transition of racing greyhounds from the track to retirement. The GRI is currently seeking expressions of interest on this initiative and it is subject to a tender process.
- The “Injuries at Tracks Recovery Scheme”, open to all owners and trainers who have incurred veterinary costs in the treatment of greyhounds to repair a career-ending orthopaedic (bone) injury sustained at an GRI licenced stadium.
- A full greyhound traceability system, as provided for in the Greyhound Racing Act 2019. When implemented, it will allow the whereabouts of a greyhound to be monitored by GRI throughout its life stages. It is hoped a draft set of regulations can underpin the system by the end of 2019.
What will the new ‘Greyhound Care Fund’ entail?
- The ‘Greyhound Care Fund’ is a fund that is solely dedicated to funding a variety of initiatives for the care and welfare of the greyhound.
- GRI is targeting the sum of €1 million to be raised for the Greyhound Care Fund in its first year of operation.
- Based on 2019 budget and activity levels, the funding will accrue from the following sources:
- 10% of all admissions and restaurant packages. (€400k)
- 5% of net Tote income. (€300k)
- GRI will engage with sponsors with a view to up to 50% of existing sponsorship being assigned directly to the Care Fund. It is estimated that this will yield €300,000 on the basis of existing sponsorship agreements.
- The establishment of the Care Fund will allow all who enjoy and participate in greyhound racing, from patrons to sponsors, to support the care and welfare of the racing greyhound. Every person walking through the turnstile of a GRI track will contribute to the Care Fund in some way.
- The Greyhound Care Fund will help to ensure that as many retired Irish greyhounds as possible can find loving, forever homes after their racing careers come to an end.
Care Fund arrangements for patrons attending Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium will be brought into effect from August 21st 2019.
All other stadia’s arrangement for patrons contributing to the Greyhound Care Fund will be brought into effect from 1st November 2019.