The latest development comes after the Irish Prime Minister, the Taoiseach; announced further measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic which made greyhound racing unviable.
The IGB said “Following on from the Taoiseach’s announcements this afternoon, the IGB wishes to advise that, in compliance with the measures outlined, all greyhound racing activity will cease with effect from midnight tonight”.
The IGB) has confirmed that all greyhound racing activity is suspended with effect from midnight tonight. This is to ensure full compliance with all directions of government and HSE protocols at this difficult time for all involved in the greyhound industry.
The IGB has also announced a Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme to provide support for the care of racing greyhounds during the period that greyhound racing remains suspended as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
A payment of €2 per day will be made in respect of each active greyhound currently registered on the IGB’s Racing Management System. This includes greyhounds that have raced or had an official trial at any IGB licenced greyhound track in the previous 42 days. The 42 days is part of the statutory racing regulation within which a greyhound is permitted to trial/race. The 10% remittance to public trainers will continue to apply with respect to the greyhound care payment.
The scheme does not require any application by owners/trainers for the special payment as this will automatically be processed on a fortnightly basis similar to the current arrangements for prize money payments. The scheme will come into effect from 8th April 2020 when the final prize money payments have been made. The scheme will be reviewed after one month of operation and in the event that restrictions arising from the Covid 19 pandemic remain in place.
The IGB has also announced that following discussions with the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) that the fee for registering new litters of greyhounds within 14 days of whelping will be waived. The IGB will recoup to the ICC the cost of this measure. This approach will ensure that an element of the costs associated with breeding activity will not apply during the current crisis. This will assist in ensuring the system for breeding and registering of greyhounds continues to be supported.
Frank Nyhan, Chairman of the IGB, stated “The care and welfare of racing greyhounds remains a priority action for the IGB and the wider greyhound community. The current Covid-19 crisis has required the suspension of racing activity which results in an income loss for those involved in the greyhound industry. The purpose of the Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme is to ensure that the care and welfare of greyhounds continues to remain a priority and that funding is available to the greyhound community to support the costs associated with the daily care of their greyhounds. I ask all in the greyhound community to work together during the current crisis and to stay safe by complying with all government advice and HSE protocols. I look forward to the resumption of greyhound racing as soon as is possible”.
The IGB has confirmed that it has made its facilities and staff available to assist, where required, in support of the national effort to combat COVID-19.