New Care Payment Scheme announced for Limerick greyhounds during coronavirus restrictions

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Racing ends at Limerick Greyhound Stadium amid new coronavirus restrictions

THE Irish Greyhound Board have announced a new Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme to provide support for the care of racing greyhounds.

The new scheme will last for the period that greyhound racing remains suspended as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

This Tuesday, the Irish Greyhound Board confirmed that all greyhound racing activity was suspended to ensure full compliance with the the latest directions of government and HSE protocols.

While many sporting events were postponed in recent weeks, the Dock Road greyhound facility had operated behind closed doors - race nights operated on a 'one dog-one person' basis with no public admission to the racing, which could be viewed online.

Greyhound racing was to continue this Thursday and Saturday as normal until the new Covid-19 measures.

With all greyhound racing now cancelled until at least April 19, the IGB have revealed details of their new Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme.

A payment of €2 per day will be made in respect of each active greyhound currently registered on the IGB’s Racing Management System. 

This includes greyhounds that have raced or had an official trial at any IGB licenced greyhound track in the previous 42 days.

The 42 days is part of the statutory racing regulation within which a greyhound is permitted to trial/race.

The 10% remittance to public trainers will continue to apply with respect to the greyhound care payment.

The scheme does not require any application by owners/trainers for the special payment as this will automatically be processed on a fortnightly basis similar to the current arrangements for prize money payments.

The new scheme will come into effect from April 8 when the final prize money payments have been made.

“The care and welfare of racing greyhounds remains a priority action for the IGB and the wider greyhound community. The current Covid-19 crisis has required the suspension of racing activity which results in an income loss for those involved in the greyhound industry,” said Chairman of the IGB Frank Nyhan.

“The purpose of the Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme is to ensure that the care and welfare of greyhounds continues to remain a priority and that funding is available to the greyhound community to support the costs associated with the daily care of their greyhounds,” siad the chairman.

“I ask all in the greyhound community to work together during the current crisis and to stay safe by complying with all government advice and HSE protocols. I look forward to the resumption of greyhound racing as soon as is possible.”

The new care scheme will be reviewed after one month of operation and in the event that restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic remain in place.

The IGB has also announced that following discussions with the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) that the fee for registering new litters of greyhounds within 14 days of whelping will be waived. The IGB will recoup to the ICC the cost of this measure. This approach will ensure that an element of the costs associated with breeding activity will not apply during the current crisis.

The IGB has confirmed that it has made its facilities and staff available to assist, where required, in support of the national effort to combat Covid-19.