Since the inception of RCÉTS on January 1st 2021 to 31st December 2022 there have been 35,701 greyhounds traced on Rásaíocht Con Éireann Traceability System. This includes both active and inactive greyhounds. These are divided into raced greyhounds of which there were 27,387 and unraced greyhounds of which there were 8,314.
In 2022, 287 greyhounds were injured or died on RCÉ licenced racetracks. The injuries occurred in the running of 14,229 races within which there were 83,978 starters, giving a racing injury rate of 0.34%. Of the 287, 163 greyhounds were treated after their injuries and 114 were euthanised due to the severity of their injuries revealing a racing injury euthanasia rate of 0.13%. A further 8 racing fatalities occurred whereby greyhounds died during or immediately after racing.
There was an overall reduction of 26% in the numbers of dogs euthanised because of their racing injuries on RCÉ tracks in 2022 when compared to 2021. This is reflective of several factors, namely improved track maintenance, recognition of the value of injured greyhounds as pets, and the further improvement of greyhound welfare standards through the Code of Practice and reinforced through greyhound traceability in the form of RCÉTS.
The RCÉTS figures also show that 204 dogs were retained for breeding, 198 were retained as a pet, and 1,867 dogs died.
The war in Ukraine and excessive heatwaves across North America and Europe impacted the overall rehoming figure for 2022, but the year finished with the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) recording its second highest annual rehoming number on record. With support from RCÉ, the IRGT assisted in the rehoming of 1,808 retired greyhounds. RCÉ also continued to expand its care centre programme during 2022 to prepare greyhounds for rehoming once their racing career is finished.
Under RCÉTS, registered greyhounds are tracked through all stages of life including birth, microchipping, racing career, changes of ownership/trainer, location, export, retirement, and end of life. RCÉ is pleased to report a high rate of compliance amongst owners, trainers, and breeders during 2022.
A total of 322,124 patrons attended greyhound racing events in 2022. The significant recovery in attendances at racetracks is a well-earned acknowledgement of the hard work of RCÉ staff, private track operators and is reflective of the energy and initiative being shown by everyone across the organisation, as well as the popularity of greyhound racing amongst the public.