Less than two weeks after RTE’s Prime Time exposed dog doping and animal cruelty in the Irish greyhound industry, Tourism Ireland welcomed the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to its stand at a major tourism event in the UK.
Despite shocking revelations about the cruelty involved in greyhound racing and the damage undoubtedly being done to Ireland’s international image, the greyhound board was allowed to be part of the Tourism Ireland stand at the Tourism and Travel Show 2017, held at the NEC Birmingham on March 22nd and 23rd.
A photograph taken at the event shows the Irish Greyhound Board stand which prominently featured the Tourism Ireland logo. Messaging from the tourism show, the greyhound board said: “Ready to go for 2 days of selling a Night at the Dogs in Ireland to Tourism Trade at the British Tourism & Travel Show 2017”.
In a press release issued ahead of the show, Tourism Ireland confirmed that “Tourism Ireland is exhibiting alongside its stand partners including…Irish Greyhound Board…”
The IGB’s presence at the show was to encourage tour operators to direct tourists to Irish greyhound tracks. The travel show listing for the Irish Greyhound Board described a visit to a dog track as “the perfect mix of night-time entertainment, Irish culture and good food”.
There is, of course, no mention of the ugly reality of the greyhound industry – the suffering of dogs, the mutilations, abandonment, injuries or deaths.
Speaking on the Prime Time programme, greyhound protection campaigner, Marion Fitzgibbon left no doubt about the appalling cruelty. She told viewers: “We believe there are probably 10,000 greyhounds put to sleep every year. They can be killed in all sorts of fashions. We’ve had so many instances of finding them shot, ears cut off, drowned” – https://youtu.be/PIUkAGa708s
Clearly Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and other tourism bodies should have nothing to do with this disgusting industry. They should recognise that the greyhound industry is bad for Ireland’s image and note the growing opposition to greyhound racing in Ireland, Europe, America, Australia and all around the world. Ireland has so many wonderful tourist attractions – there is no need for Tourism Ireland or Fáilte Ireland to resort to using greyhound racing as a selling point.
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