Speech in Dublin by Massimo Greco of Pet levrieri Italy
First of all, I would like to thank the group ARAN for inviting me to speak here today, on behalf of my association, Pet Levrieri. I expect you may be wondering why an Italian group is taking part in this protest.
We find homes in Italy for Irish greyhounds and lurchers rescued by Limerick Animal Welfare, Galway SPCA and Erin Hounds, so for us it’s right to be here to help our Irish friends stop greyhounds from being sent to die in Macau.
We hope that the infamous Canidrome of Macau will soon be closed, and the sooner exports there are blocked, the sooner it will shut down. We will get there in the end, certainly.
But even when that happens, I don’t think we should stop there. There are other places, such as Vietnam and Pakistan, where there are no adoption programs and where greyhounds should never be exported. Equally, they should not be sent to Spain where Spanish greyhounds, the galgos, already die in their tens of thousands each year.
We find homes in Italy for rescued Irish greyhounds, but we hope that one day it will not be necessary to send greyhounds out of Ireland to be adopted. We believe that this will happen when these dogs are seen as pets like any other dog, and not as merchandise like they are today.
We have always believed that greyhound racing is cruel in itself, and that, as long as the industry exists, greyhounds will be exploited and abused. If there were no racing industry here and greyhounds in Ireland were pets, they would not be sent to Macau, Spain, Pakistan or Vietnam.
But if it’s wrong for greyhounds to die in Macau, is it not equally wrong for them to die in Ireland?
For we all know that thousands of greyhounds disappear every year in Ireland, and we don’t even have an exact figure. So I think today should not just be about what happens to the Irish greyhounds sent to Macau, but also about what happens to the thousands of greyhounds that disappear in Ireland each year.
Maybe the time has come to highlight the fact that the Irish racing industry – represented by the IGB – have not been able to guarantee acceptable standards of welfare for Irish greyhounds. Let those who have profited and continue to profit by these dogs be held fully accountable for their fate, from cradle to grave.
So I would like to end now with the hope that the day will soon come when Irish greyhounds will be just pets, and no longer simply the means of making a profit.
Thank you all for standing with me here today.
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