The Government looks set to ensure that the greyhound industry ups its spending on welfare and traceability to at least 10% of the €16 million in public funding it currently receives annually.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross, said this evening that some of the practices uncovered in the sector by the recent RTÉ Investigates programme amounted to "subsidised cruelty" and that it was not good enough that the Irish Greyhound Board didn't act earlier to safeguard dogs.
Minister of State with responsibility for the greyhound sector, Andrew Doyle, today brought a memo to the cabinet on ways to improve conditions for the thousands of greyhounds in this country, and to keep track of dogs who are deemed not good enough or too old to race.
The move follows the RTÉ Investigates revelations which reported that up to 6,000 greyhounds are being culled every year because they are not fast enough.
The investigation caused widespread public revulsion and has also prompted a withdrawal of sponsorship from greyhound racing by a number of well-known companies.
Andrew Doyle said today, following his presentation to the cabinet, that at least 10 percent of the funding the industry receives from the public purse will be earmarked for welfare, rehoming and traceability measures.
At the moment about €300,000-€400,000 is spent on these issues and that's likely to jump to at least €1.6 million if the government's plans go ahead.
One trainer, Mooncoin-based Peter Cronin, told RTÉ News that "99.9 percent" of people in the greyhound sector were horrified by the RTÉ Investigates findings.
"Anything that gets the rogues out of the business is to be welcomed," he said.
A new group was recently established in the Clonmel area of owners and breeders who want to promote greyhound rehoming, and want their counterparts throughout the country to do the same.
A review of the €16.8 million funding for the greyhound sector is now underway.
Additional reporting Conor Kane