Did you know that greyhounds have been in existence for longer than any other breed of dog and for all that time, have been prized for their speed, grace, agility, hunting prowess and as loyal pets and companions.
The only breed mentioned in the Bible, greyhounds appear in early cave drawings, adorning the tombs of Pharaohs and are celebrated in many paintings, stories and poems. In 124 A.D. The Roman Flavius Arrianus (Arrian) sang the praises of his Celtic greyhound "Horme".
"She is moreover, gentle and kindly affectionate, and never before had I a dog with such regard for myself. When I am at home she remains by my side, accompanies me in going abroad, follows me to the gymnasium and while I am exercising myself, sits down near me. At meals she pats me with one foot and then the other, to remind me she is to have her share of the food. Nothing is as helpful as a soft warm bed. It is best if they can sleep with a person because it makes them more human and because they rejoice in the companionship of human beings".
In modern times, greyhounds, traditionally used for hunting, were introduced to the mechanical lure and greyhound racing as we know it began.
Greyhound Racing Ireland is responsible for the welfare of racing greyhounds, and every effort is made to ensure that they are treated in the most humane manner during training or racing.
In 2021, Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) / Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) today launched a new Code of Practice that applies to any person who keeps, breeds, rears, trains, races, trades or transports a greyhound in Ireland. The Code is the latest in a series of GRI care and welfare initiatives being progressed, including the provision of care and foster care centres, the introduction of an expanded inspection programme for greyhound establishments, the operation of a Greyhound Injuries Support Scheme, and the recent commissioning of the Rásaíocht Con Éireann Traceability System (RCÉTS).
To make the digital copy of the Code of Practice easier to read, set it to full screen. You can do this by clicking on the rectangle with 4 white corners on the bottom right on a desktop or in the centre on mobile.
If you cannot see the embedded reader above, click here to open the digital version in a new window
Did you know that a percentage of winning prizemoney is donated to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) and matched by Greyhound Racing Ireland? The IRGT is a registered charity which works to rehome greyhounds after retirement and promote them as pets. In 2021, 2,234 greyhounds were rehomed with the assistance of the IRGT.
Find out more about the work of the IRGT on their website.