Irish greyhound industry to bring in new sponsorship model

Chairman says he understands why sponsorship withdrawn after ‘damaging’ RTÉ show

The Irish greyhound industry is to introduce a new model of sponsorship after losing several sponsors in the aftermath of an RTÉ Investigates programme

The Irish greyhound industry is to introduce a new model of sponsorship after losing several sponsors in the aftermath of an RTÉ Investigates programme

 

The Irish greyhound industry is to introduce a new model of sponsorship after losing several sponsors in the aftermath of an RTÉ Investigates programme on the industry.

Barry’s Tea, FBD Insurance and animal feed manufacturer Connolly’s Red Mills pulled their sponsorship of greyhound racing in the past week.

The RTÉ broadcast raised concerns over the treatment of dogs and the potential widespread culling of thousands of animals based on their performances.

The Irish Greyhound Board is advancing plans to institute a levy on attendance income, prize money and a percentage of all sponsorship to be paid into a “care fund” which will be managed through a trust with external appointees monitoring the care and welfare programme, an Oireachtas committee heard on Tuesday.

Chairman of Bord na gCon, Frank Nyhan said he is a dog owner and that “anybody who ever owned a dog would be horrified by what they saw” in the programme.

Mr Nyhan said the greyhound industry has been damaged in the past two weeks by the controversy.

“Of course the greyhound industry has been damaged... The manifestation of that damage has been the withdrawal of high profile sponsors. It is understandable why people would have withdrawn their sponsorship,” said Mr Nyhan.

“Fortunately that has been confined to a small number of sponsors and a large amount of sponsors have stayed on board. We have been talking to sponsors about a changed model of sponsorship.

“We are going to ask sponsors to be more involved in the care aspect for greyhounds and the prize fund will be separate to that,” he said.

Mr Nyhan said the loss of some sponsorship funding would impact mainly on greyhound owners and trainers.

“It affects owners and trainers because the sponsorship money goes to them and that money is a loss to them.We hope with today’s meeting and future meetings we will stem that tide,” he said.