Another firm has joined the growing list of companies to pull sponsorship from greyhound racing, in the wake of a recent broadcast about the industry by RTÉ Investigates.

The programme raised animal welfare issues relating to the overbreeding and subsequent treatment of greyhounds.

Connolly's RED MILLS, a leading manufacturer of animal feed products here, said it is clear that a number of cruel and unscrupulous practices are being pursued by individuals in the industry. 

It said a failure to address these "unacceptable activities" has led to its decision. 

"Connolly's RED MILLS prides itself in providing the best nutrition for pets, working animals and elite sports animals," it said. 

"The welfare of greyhounds is of the utmost concern to Connolly's RED MILLS and the company is horrified by the completely unacceptable acts that were broadcast by RTÉ." 

"No-one who cares about animals can condone the practices depicted in the broadcast," it added. 

The company had sponsored greyhound race meetings and events and had been one of the bigger backers of dog racing.

The firm did not say how much its sponsorship of the industry was worth, but it is thought to be in region of €50,000 to €75,000 a year.

On Tuesday, two other well-known brands confirmed they were ending their involvement with greyhound races. 

FBD Insurance said it had reviewed its small sponsorship arrangement with Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium in light of the programme and had decided not to renew it. 

Barry's Tea also said it was withdrawing its support of a race at Curaheen Park in Cork, as it was "saddened and horrified" by the recent revelations. 

Since the programme was broadcast, the Irish Greyhound Board has given a commitment to the welfare of racing greyhounds and it adopted additional measures at a special board meeting last week which it is now arranging the implementation of.

Meanwhile, the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation has issued a statement to say the programme "sent shockwaves through the country" but that opportunities to improve the sport should have been taken sooner.

"[The IGOBF] strongly believe that if there is going to be a commercial greyhound industry in Ireland then it must have the highest standards of greyhound welfare with all retired dogs re-homed. 

"We also believe that this can and must be done without any Government funding. We have consistently made this point to IGB and Government over the last 10 years but have always been dismissed," it said.

The statement added that three years ago the IGOBF called for action on greyhound welfare, improved integrity and financial management in the industry but these matters were not addressed.

In a letter to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, IGOBF chairman Tony Walsh said the measures announced by the IGB following a special board meeting on 28 June were too late.

"The IGOBF welcomes the range of aids and measures announced by IGB on June 28 to assist with rehoming. These are normal measures, certainly nothing extraordinary and.. very weak on detail. 

"[But] why were these measures not put in place before the RTÉ Investigates programme?," he said.