The IGB notes the Government decision today to permit horse racing with effect from 8th June 2020 and would have been of the understanding that such decision also extended to greyhound racing. This would not appear to be the case. The IGB has sought full clarity from the Department in relation to the decision.
Frank Nyhan, Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board stated ‘Greyhound racing has proven its ability to run ‘racing behind closed doors’ and successfully complied with all Covid 19 protocols when operating on a closed doors basis during early March 2020. The strict enforcement of a ‘one person, one dog’ policy with a small number of regulatory personnel on site ensures a well-managed activity with all risks minimised. The extensive outdoor areas at our tracks enables social distancing requirements to be fully met without difficulty. The protocols operating during March have been enhanced and physical alterations are being undertaken at our stadia to further facilitate compliance with these enhanced protocols.
The IGB is at a loss to understand why, on a risk basis, greyhound racing is not assessed as being capable of operating behind closed doors from 8th June next as it is clear that all necessary protocols can be fully complied with. The IGB is absolutely intent on ensuring that all of its tracks and stadia operate to the necessary standards while Covid 19 remains with us. The arrangements already in place , and the further enhancements proposed ensure that the greyhound community can safely participate in racing behind closed doors and enable the greyhound racing industry to be restarted and provide an outlet for the health and welfare of our greyhounds. We are taking the matter up immediately with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to obtain clarification on the overall situation’