Animals used in sport and entertainment

Wild animals in circuses:


  • Greyhounds are bred and used for the racing industry.
  • Dogs who are not fast enough for racing, or who incur injuries during racing are no longer profitable to the industry.
  • Thousands of greyhounds go missing each year.
  • Many are euthanised or shot.
  • There are no figures on the numbers of greyhounds that are ‘disposed of’ in this way.
  • The IGB (Irish Greyhound Board/Bord na gCon), a semi-state body responsible for the control and development of greyhound racing in Ireland, does not record how many dogs ‘retire’ each year.   Quote from Barry Coleman, Welfare Manager IGB:  “I can’t go into the numbers.  Those figures are not available”.   (Source: The Irish Times, 30th March 2012).
  • Video from an animal rescue in Cork showing severe injuries and starvation in greyhounds who have been ‘dumped’ by their owners.
  • Greyhounds have a gentle, sensitive, affectionate and quiet disposition.  They are laid-back ‘couch potatoes’ and make great family pets.
  • Images of muzzled greyhounds at races give an inaccurate and false impression of these dogs.  The muzzles are used to prevent potential bites or injuries – something which could result in financial loss to the owner (ie. a lost race).
  • RTE Investigates – Greyhounds running for their lives

Irish greyhound welfare groups:


  • Horses are bred for racing and show jumping in Ireland.
  • Injuries during a race are common and some are fatal.
  • Horses deemed too slow for racing or who incur injuries during a race are no longer profitable to the industry.
  • Many horses end up in slaughterhouses where they are used for meat.
  • Horse Racing – from NARA.
  • Horse racing – from Animal Aid.
  • Irish Horse Welfare Trust
  • Race Horse Deathwatch