Horses and greyhounds allocated € 74m in Budget 2016

Additional funding for animal welfare also made available

 Simon Cooper/PA Wire.

Simon Cooper/PA Wire.

 

The State’s horse and greyhound industries have been allocated funding of €74m in Budget 2016.

State support to both industries is provided through the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund. There will be increased funding of €6 million, or almost 9 per cent, with €4.8 million for horses and €1.2 million for greyhounds.

The additional funds bring the total exchequer spend for greyhound racing to €14.8 million in 2016.

Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility the greyhound sector, said the Irish Greyhound Board provides “a range of infrastructural supports and services without which this sector could not continue to exist”.

“The additional funding should be used to encourage participation in the sport,” he added.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin also announced that total funding for voluntary animal welfare organisations will increase more than 27 per cent to €2.7m.

Additionally, there will be €2.8m to assist local authorities in reducing incidences of horse abandonment and in advancing horse projects for urban and traveller horse owners.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said his Department would “continue to prioritise this important area”.

“I am confident that the total expenditure package announced in this Budget, amounting to in excess of €2.5bn in 2016, together with the progressive taxation measures announced, will support the development of the agri-food sector in meeting the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” he added.