Govt Urged To End Its Support Of Horse And Greyhound Racing Industry

The government has been urged to end its support of the horse and greyhound racing industry until "sufficient reform is implemented".

Making the call, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Marine expressed concern at the amount of public money being given to the industry.

Deputy Kenny said: "There are very many people who feel that the amount of public money, 80 million euro, being put into the horse and greyhound racing industry mainly benefits a sector of society which is really a club of very rich people.

"I do understand how some industries and sectors need to get investment in order to stimulate their development and growth, however this sector is long past that stage.

"I believe that in spite of this huge investment over the years, there is still not enough being done to help the small breeders who struggle at the other, bottom end of the scale. Those of us from a rural community all know people who are involved in keeping horses and are persistently trying to succeed, but are failing most of their time. 

"What strikes me the most of all is that this vast amount of money being given to the horse racing industry goes into prize money, which ends up with an already very well off and elite sector of society.

"We had representatives from HRI before the committee and indeed, the people representing the greyhound board and there are still serious issues about governance and regulation within these two organisations and certainly, enough concern to prevent us in Sinn Féin from supporting this use of public money.

"The lack of regulation is intentional and frankly, obscene – benefitting and enriching a small sector of Irish society."

Deputy Kenny said that Sinn Féin does not support the amount of money currently being given to the horse and greyhound racing industry, "in the context of what is continuing to go on."

He concluded that the party was calling on the government to end its support of the industry, "until sufficient reform is implemented".


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