Greyhound Grave Found Near Irish Racecourse, Opponents Demand Change

Posted on: September 1, 2022, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: September 1, 2022, 05:12h.

Animal rights activists and greyhound racing opponents in the UK and Ireland have been fighting for a ban on the races for years. They now have more leverage following discovering a greyhound grave near a popular track in Ireland.

Greyhound racing
Greyhounds race at a track in Florida before the state banned the activity. The discovery of a greyhound grave in Ireland has renewed calls for a global ban on the races. (Image: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, an unnamed person found the carcasses and skeletal remains of various canines about a mile from the Newbridge Greyhound Stadium in Kildare, according to Belfast Live.

Among the remains were full skeletons, partial skeletons, skulls, and a plastic muzzle that may have been on one of the animals when it was tossed into the grave.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) and Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) have questions they hope someone can answer. The ICABS is currently lobbying the Gardai, the Irish police force, and the Department of Agriculture to investigate. The ICABS is also renewing its efforts for a ban on the sport, which remains popular with gamblers throughout the region.

These dumped greyhounds are the victims of the cruel greyhound racing industry that sees thousands of greyhounds abandoned and killed each year,” the Irish Council Against Blood Sports said in a statement.

The ICABS indicated that this isn’t the first time someone has encountered a dumping ground. In 2005, locals retrieved the mutilated bodies of three greyhounds from a river in the coastal town of Dungarvan. In 2021, in Limerick, someone found the remains of six greyhounds at a dump site. Each had been shot in the head.

GRI Investigates

The GRI is asking the public to come forward and provide information anonymously. The organization stopped short of confirming that the dogs were greyhounds or were the product of any races. Instead, it’s working with Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, police, and other officials to investigate.

GRI added that judging by the photos, the animals had been in the grave for a long time. Decomposition of a dog buried underground takes from six to 12 months, according to the National Canine Research Association of America.

Greyhound Racing Remains Controversial

Greyhound racing was once a widespread form of entertainment, as well as a popular gambling activity. However, allegations of animal mistreatment and neglect put the sport badly. In some instances, owners have faced allegations they administered cocaine and other illicit drugs to their dogs to get them to run faster.

The ICABS asserts that owners kill as many as 6,000 greyhounds each year, eliminating those that don’t cut. It based its data on information from media outlet RTE, which reported that 17,962 dogs were put down from 2013 to 2015 after failing to perform. However, the number could be higher.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia, tried to ban racing years ago but failed following intervention from then-NSW Premier Mike Baird in 2017. Across the US, states have been discussing similar bans, with some already making progress.

Macau’s Greyhound Racing

One of the most popular – and most controversial – greyhound racing markets was in Macau. Four years ago, the Macau Canidrome was coming off a successful run of over 50 decades. Allegations of mistreatment and a desire to redevelop the track’s location forced the government to intervene.

The government then closed the track, but when authorities visited the property, they found 533 abandoned and neglected greyhounds. All were suffering from malnutrition and other diseases.

Many found new homes abroad in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. However, in some instances, euthanasia was the only alternative.