Already in 2011 IGB planned to export Irish greyhounds, invest in, and develop, racetracks in China.
Already in February 2011 the IGB (which runs the Irish greyhound racing industry) announced a business development plan focussing on the exportation of greyhounds and of racing in China as a profitable source of income for the industry, stating that it was ready to promote and support the development of greyhound racing in China.
It would also send over ‘qualified’ Irish personnel, thus providing, in its own words, new ‘job opportunities’ for Irish industry employees such as owners, breeders, trainers, etc. Adrian Neilan, the CEO of Bord na gCon (IGB), called all of this a ‘marvellous business opportunity’ and ‘a very significant outlet for our hard-pressed‘. This IGB’s multimillion-euro proposal to develop a racing industry in China raised an outcry from animal welfare activists worldwide, including 37 celebrities, among them the award-winning actor Brendan Gleeson, Ricky Gervais, Jilly Cooper, Annette Crosbie, Sharon Shannon, Gavin Friday, Louis Walsh, Frances Black, the Irish jewellery designer, Geraldine Murphy, who signed a letter of petition against The Irish Greyhound Board’s (IGB) plans to invest in, and develop, racetracks in China.
‘This is not just a cynical move, but a sinister one.
Unlike other breeds, greyhounds tend to be portrayed as commodities. But they are not machines. They are creatures who feel. Yet their lives are so undervalued, they are regularly subjected to neglect and abuse all over the world.
In China, there is a massive amount of well-documented evidence of dogs and cats being thrown alive into boiling water, and then skinned, alive, to eventually end up for sale in open markets,’ the letter stated. (irishtimes/letters/greyhound-racing-in-china)
And again: We are horrified that the IGB would even consider conducting business in a country with such a terrible record for animal abuse – where dogs are both skinned alive for their fur and killed for human consumption. (https://www.thepetitionsite.com/it-it/3/say-no-to-greyhound-exports-to-china/)
Other celebrities who signed the petition include Andrea Corr, Imelda May, Damien Rice, Tommy Tiernan, Frances Black, Christy Moore, Paul Brady, Darrel Higham, Damien Dempsey, Louis Copeland, Eleanor Shanley, Ian Dempsey, Linda Martin, Declan O’Rourke, Luka Bloom, Luan Parle, Donal Lunny, Mundy, Lucia Evans, Barry Murphy, John Reynolds, Mary Black, Liam O Maonlaí, Lenny Abrahamson, Glenda Gilson, Jerry Fish, Ciara Sidine and Jack Lukeman. (Andrea-Corr-Imelda-May-Damien-Rice-and-Louis-Walsh-Join-Anti-Greyhound-Racing-Protest)
At the beginning of May 2011, following considerable public pressure, the Department of Agriculture denied the Irish Greyhound Board permission to export Irish greyhounds to China, but they were still considering granting permission for the board to develop five stadia there. ‘But if this project goes ahead, the letter pointed out, the IGB “will have to get Greyhounds from somewhere.”
Sources:http://greytexploitations.com/resources-reports/china-crisis-in-the-media/ The article by Irish Post, Feb 2011 The Irish Times Letter sent to the Irish Times – supported by a whole list of celebrities. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/greyhound-racing-in-china The Irish Times IGB attempt to assure the public and dismiss welfare concerns. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/assurances-on-export-of-greyhounds-to-china Irish Sunday Times https://www.thepetitionsite.com/it-it/3/say-no-to-greyhound-exports-to-china/