In the government’s roadmap for reopening society and business, horse racing is set to return on the 8th of June, yet dog racing will not start up again until the 29th.
Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has questioned the Minister for Agriculture on this decision and has called for a level playing field for the greyhound sector.
The Tipperary TD explained: “There is absolutely no doubt that public health must be the priority at all times, and I want to acknowledge that the greyhound sector has played its part during this pandemic and fully adhered to all the public health advice and restrictions.”
“However, following the publication of the government’s roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s society and economy, many people in the greyhound industry were confused as to why racing could not begin again until Phase Three (29th June) when horse racing is being allowed to proceed in Phase Two (8th June).”
“If the same rules and regulations are followed, I don’t understand why there would be any distinction between the two sports.”
Cahill continued to question how horse racing, which involves a groom, jockey, stall handlers, owners and trainers, can apply social distancing and restart at the earlier date yet greyhound racing, which involves one man and his dog, must wait until the 29th.
“I have asked Minister Creed to explain the rationale behind this decision and to examine if the date for the return of greyhound racing, behind closed doors, can be brought forward in line with horse racing,” he concluded.