Advancing International Greyhound Welfare & Rescue
Louise Coleman voices concern in letter about exportation of Irish Greyhounds to China to seed their new Greyhound racing industry.

Louise Coleman’s response to IGB CEO letter to Irish Examiner:

Dear Editor,

In response to Adrian Neilan’s, CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, letter to the editor I would like to address some key points concerning the export of Greyhounds to China for the purpose of developing a greyhound racing industry there. Historically in places like Spain, where the IGB had fostered the export of greyhounds, time and time again horrific stories surfaced about the inhuman and even criminal treatment of greyhounds. Spain has law protecting animal welfare and yet the greyhounds often met an illegal demise. China on the other hand has no animal welfare laws, none whatsoever, and yet the IGB claims that it will oversee all the care of greyhounds sent there with their own Irish vets, trainers and stewards.

I ask, what will happen to the dogs that have finished their careers after months or even several years of racing? Will these young dogs be transported out of China to be given homes through adoption agencies in Europe or the United States? The “strong welfare framework that is already provided by the Board” according to Mr. Neilan, will not be possible or even financially viable in China which is half way around the world. The glut of greyhounds no longer needed after their racing days are over will have to be dealt with and it is highly unlikely that these dogs will have their passage paid to return them to Ireland for Adoption. This is not to mention the hundreds of dogs that never make the grade to make it to the track.

There is a segment of the population in China that eats dogs and harvests them for their skins. This is not a disputed fact. There are currently photographs circulating on the Internet of dogs being butchered for meat. Some are skinned alive to enhance the flavor of the meat it is reported. Also recent news article detailed how a truck load of over 50 dogs heading for a meat market was stopped and prevented from reaching it’s destination by activists in China. It is very easy to say that this is just a movement by animal rights activists who are challenging the export to China but this is not correct. There is an overwhelming outcry from ordinary citizens around the world which condemns the abandonment of ethical, moral and basic common sense concerning the proposed export to China for nothing but greed.

On paper the IGB has made an argument that great profits will be harvested from this business relationship. On paper it’s a God Send to the IGB but the ethical cost of doing business in China is unacceptable to many of us that ask that basic humane treatment be afforded these animals and that the realities of the situation in China not be swept under the rug. I understand that the industry is struggling to survive and that this is a juicy prospect, but the industry is in decline all around the world. This is an economic reality of our financial times.

I would suggest that there are many greyhound breeders that do not want to be associated with this export to China. Breeders that take pride in their dogs and the thought of profiting from a venture that will put some dogs on the dinner table is just unacceptable. There is no way that this export would not tarnish the reputation or as Mr Neilan put it the “brand” of the Irish Greyhound Board. Common sense and a review of recent history speaks to the only one conclusion. Do not export greyhounds to China.

Louise Coleman,
President of the American-European Greyhound Alliance
usa (508) 435 5969 
Mobile usa (617) 817 6706 

Massachusetts: AEGA President Responds to Irish Greyhound Board