The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has expressed disappointment at its apparent non-inclusion in plans for the resumption of racing behind closed doors at an earlier date.

Horse and greyhound racing's return had initially been due to fall into the third phase of the Government's plan to ease lockdown restrictions which is set for 29 June.

But horse racing is now set to resume under strict protocols and behind closed doors in Ireland on 8 June after Horse Racing Ireland consulted with the Government on the possibility of an earlier return.

In a statement, the IGB said it was "at a loss to understand" why greyhound racing has not been included as part of the earlier return date.

"Greyhound racing has proven its ability to run ‘racing behind closed doors' and successfully complied with all Covid 19 protocols when operating on a closed doors basis during early March 2020," said the IGB chairman Frank Nyhan.

"The strict enforcement of a ‘one person, one dog’ policy with a small number of regulatory personnel on site ensures a well-managed activity with all risks minimised. The extensive outdoor areas at our tracks enables social distancing requirements to be fully met without difficulty.

"The protocols operating during March have been enhanced and physical alterations are being undertaken at our stadia to further facilitate compliance with these enhanced protocols.

"The IGB is at a loss to understand why, on a risk basis, greyhound racing is not assessed as being capable of operating behind closed doors from 8th June next as it is clear that all necessary protocols can be fully complied with."

The IGB added that it will "seek clarity" with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine on the matter.

"The IGB is absolutely intent on ensuring that all of its tracks and stadia operate to the necessary standards while Covid 19 remains with us," he said.

"The arrangements already in place , and the further enhancements proposed ensure that the greyhound community can safely participate in racing  behind closed doors and enable the greyhound racing industry to be restarted and provide an outlet for the health and welfare of our greyhounds.

"We are taking the matter up immediately with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to obtain clarification on the overall situation."