The Greyhound Board of Great Britain, of which Forever Hounds Trust is a member, has announced the long awaited statistics on both injuries sustained by Greyhounds on the track and the fates of Greyhounds on retirement.
The data reveals that over 1,000 greyhounds were put to sleep in 2017, for reasons including the cost of their veterinary treatment. GBGB have announced they are developing a plan aimed at making improvements to the welfare of greyhounds, on and off the track.
In response, Clarissa Baldwin Chairman of the Greyhound Forum stated; “The statistics show that a great deal of work needs to be done to bring the Greyhound industry into the 21st Century. The Forum is now calling for a radical review of the Industry from breeding, ownership, kennels, training, retirement and funding. With the veterinary advancements of today’s world, it is totally unacceptable to euthanise dogs purely on economic grounds. It’s also very worrying that dogs put to sleep are often simply discarded based on cost alone.”
Clarissa added, “Whilst the Greyhound Board of Great Britain should have done more to improve the lives of retired greyhounds before the Government and welfare charities demanded more transparency, the main culprits are the Bookmakers – many of whom pay nothing to the voluntary levy. They should be made to stand up to their moral and ethical obligation to pay back to the Industry some of the estimated £237,000,000 profit that they make so that the nation’s Greyhounds can be better protected in the future.”
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity added; “The publication of this data is a welcome first step towards bringing transparency to the greyhound industry, but it’s clear that the industry is overdue for a radical review to ensure the issues raised are properly dealt with. We are pleased that the Greyhound Board of Great Britain has used the data as a springboard to introduce a plan to tackle the longstanding welfare issues associated with greyhound racing. Another challenge at present is that there is no requirement for independent tracks to publish their data and so we simply don’t know how they compare to GBGB tracks in terms of injuries and euthanasia. The statistics show there is much to be done to reduce the number of dogs being put to sleep for economic and behavioural reasons and we look forward to working with GBGB to improve the outlook for all racing greyhounds, and also to improve injury rates, in the future.”
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Members: Battersea, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Greyhound Board of Great Britain, Greyhounds in Need, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Forever Hounds Trust, Kennel Club, Racecourse Promoters Association, Greyhound Trust, RSPCA, Society of Greyhound Veterinarians, Wood Green Animal Shelters.