"Such a gross over-estimate, it's almost laughable": Politicians doubt greyhound industry's jobs claim
24 January 2017
Ireland's cruel greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euro of taxpayers' money since 2001, including €16 million for 2017. The government has attempted to justify channelling massive amounts of scarce public funds into tawdry dog racing by claiming that the industry generates jobs. However, politicians have recently been casting doubt on the industry's clearly exaggerated claim that over 10,000 people are employed.
At a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine in December, a statement by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed that the greyhound industry "employs over 10,300 people" was ridiculed. Labour Party's Willie Penrose (a pro-bloodsports TD from Westmeath) said: "Some people tell me that the estimate that there are 10,000 people employed in the industry is such a gross over-estimate that it's almost laughable."
Deputy Penrose restated his doubts about the figure during a speech in Dail Eireann on 14th December, referring to it as an "old figure".
Minister of State Andrew Doyle told the Dail that "a report by the economist Jim Power in 2010 estimated the greyhound industry employed over 10,300 people", to which Willie Penrose replied: "Jim Power's report was produced six or seven years ago. Let us come into reality."
"The figure of 10,500 jobs in the greyhound industry is more than questionable and does not stand," he added.
During the same parliamentary debate, another bloodsports supporter - Mattie McGrath TD - also expressed doubts about the estimate, saying "there once were jobs in this industry, but whether they're still there or not, I do not know."
Sinn Fein's Martin Kenny TD (Sligo-Leitrim) echoed these doubts - "I wonder about the quality of these jobs and whether they are counted as whole-time equivalents as they are in the HSE, schools and other State bodies. How many real jobs are there? For example, Bord na gCon claims there are 10,300 people employed in the greyhound industry. I would love to know where these people work and the basis of the claim that the industry contributes €500 million to the economy each year. I am told by dog breeders and trainers that the greyhound industry is in crisis and will disappear within the decade if radical reform does not take place."
The greyhound industry has experienced a 50 per cent fall in attendance and a 58 per cent drop in sponsorship over recent years. With the public and businesses rejecting dog racing, it is time for the government to stop squandering taxpayers' money on what is clearly a dying industry.
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Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
Stop sponsoring cruel greyhound racing
Don't attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the cruel greyhound industry).
Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in it and are rightly opposed to an industry in which dogs are injured, dumped and killed. Please join us in urging the government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.
Minister for Finance
(Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, Minister of State Andrew Doyle)
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD
Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw
Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Tweet to @ADoyleTD
Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
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