The Irish Cabinet has called for the greyhound industry to boost its welfare spending after the sector was rocked by recent controversies alluding to animal cruelty.
During the weekly cabinet meeting, the Government outlined new plans to ensure that the sector increases its spending on welfare initiatives and traceability, with suggestions made that the sector should be spending at least 10 per cent of the €16 million in public funding it currently receives annually.
The news comes as the country’s Minister for Transport Shane Ross, as reported by the Irish Times, has called for the Bord Na gCon to stand down.
Ross stated that the industry should have acted sooner to safeguard greyhounds after an RTÉ investigation uncovered practices that were in breach of welfare standards.
The RTÉ investigation raised concerns over the treatment of dogs, and the potential widespread culling of thousands of animals based on their performances.
The industry currently allocates up to €400,000 (£360,000) towards welfare initiatives, however this is expected to jump to at least €1.6 million if the Government plans are implemented.
Bord Na gCon is currently developing new plans to implement a new levy based upon attendance income, prize money which will go towards a new ‘care fund’ for the sector. Due to be managed through a new external trust, the fund will oversee a care and welfare programme.