Pic courtesy of Malik Ramzan

Gay people should NOT be killed by a captive bolt pistol. Nor kittens. Nor old people.

Don’t send your greyhounds to Lithuania – not live ones anyway.

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My inspiration for my new business venture came about after a well known industry individual screamed at me down the phone for not condemning the export of greyhounds to Pakistan.

He’d seen it on a website slamming Pakistan as a country to where you should not send ‘live greyhounds’. (As if you’d want to send dead ones!)

Anyway – that isn’t my experience.

I have a pile of Facebook Friends in both the UK and in Pakistan who bombard me with pictures of their pride and joy. Most have about six words of English, which is about six words more than I know in Urdu. But the dogs look in great order and the delight of an owner with a greyhound and a trophy transcends any language barrier.

I also recalled a string of conversations with one of Nick Savva’s owners ‘Naz’, a Lancashire lad of Pakistani descent who sent a number of fast, often dodgy, greyhounds to Pakistan where they lived like princes. A whole village would adopt a dog who would eat better than they did. Move up the scale there were some wealthy businessman types with dogs.

They didn’t run on circular tracks but coursed, or ran in drag races. An English based group of Pakistani dog men were always among the staunchest of supporters of the late Bob Tovey’s drag meetings.

Who the hell was I to label a country as cruel? (Technically, it isn’t racism as Pakistan isn’t a race, but you get my drift.) Why Pakistan and not Belgium or Lithuania for God’s sake?

Ah – maybe there is a China connection? It’s far away – that should be enough for a bit of prejudice.

Now I will concede, that to my limited knowledge, China does appear to have a different attitude towards animals. Would I knowingly send a greyhound there? No.

But let’s get one thing straight – the Irish greyhounds that were sent there earlier this year were not sent to be abused or eaten.

There are some very wealthy Chinese businessmen who want to breed fast greyhounds for match racing and are prepared to pay handsomely for them. I am told that one of the Irish stud dogs was sold for a reputed £150K plus God knows how much in airfares. Surely that would make him the most expensive Chinese meal in history?

It is of course – bullshit – dished out by the antis for consumption of the naive folk who financially or physically support them.


On similar topic, the ‘anti’ site CAGED UK website runs a petition for the banning of the captive bolt pistol.

Actually – I agree with them. All greyhound people should agree with them.

But then if you look a the CAGED website, you might assume that greyhounds are routinely put to sleep with the humane killer and that we condone it. More bullshit!

In 45 years in the greyhound industry, I can only remember one case involving a captive bolt pistol. It was 2006, when a builder from Seaham, David Smith, was exposed in a profitable little side-line disposing of unwanted dogs and cats.

He had no connection with greyhounds other than some of his unfortunate clients were greyhounds. So here is a list of things that CAGED don’t make obvious on their site.

1) Killing animals with a captive bolt pistol might be abhorrent but it is widespread throughout the world. (Smith was fined £2,000 plus costs – not for killing the animals – but for incorrect disposal of the bodies.)

2) All greyhound people who were shown to have used Smith were warned off for life by the greyhound authorities.

3) There are no statistics for greyhounds euthanized by the humane killer but I cannot imagine that it would be more than a tiny fraction of one per cent per year. And always surreptitiously.

4) Promoter and GBGB Director John Curran once offered – as a member of a welfare forum – to support an initiative, on behalf of the greyhound industry, to ban the captive bolt pistol. It was opposed by the RSPCA who dispose of larger animals with the pistol every day of the year.

CAGED show a picture of an unfortunate dog with a head wound as if to prove their point. Was that in Britain? Was it a registered greyhound? Could the perpetrator be found and prosecuted? (The law allows for the use of the humane killer – allied with a pithing rod – but not cruelty)

Presumably not, or they would be named. Pity.

Rather like some of the other pictures that anti racing groups show on their websites, it is misleading. I remember a shot on one abolitionist site, of dustbins containing dead greyhounds, that originated in America. I saw it for the first time in 1988, and saw the same picture wheeled out again two years ago.

Many ‘anti’ sites show pictures of dead greyhounds – or lurchers – or galgos – in China, or Spain, or Macau – or God knows where or when. A message to CAGED and their followers. Go over there and stop them. We could all support that.

BUT don’t malign the innocent thousands of people who have never maltreated an animal in their lives.

Now – about my new business venture. . . .

Before and since Seaham, a number of people have been killed by captive bolt pistol. Some were probably old or gay and owned kittens.

But don’t worry – WE CAN STOP THIS! Just fill in your Paypal details below . . .

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit


Amid all the uncertainty over the ARC/SIS media rights battle, the other major factor in the future of the betting industry – the Government decision on FOBT machines – finally made an appearance yesterday. It entered stage left yesterday and promptly departed to the wings, promising to play a major role in 2018.

There are hundreds of opinions on the situation more expert than mine. But I did spend a time and effort reading the original Government paper on the situation, published in January, and my gut feeling is, the bookies will view it as a reasonable start.

They have long known that their wings will be clipped in a part of the business that earns them around 56% of their betting shop revenue. The fear was that the Government would announce a dramatic cut in either machine numbers and/or the size of the size of the jackpots “from £50 to a low as £2”. Instead, the Minister has decided to defer any decision for three months to hear evidence.

I thought I learned enough from the original review. In the first instance, there was considerable expert opinion to refute the claim that 4,000 betting shops will close (with related job loses) if the jackpot is slashed. I seem to remember the figure of £10 being a tipping point. (Plenty of wiggle room there Minister!) The other possible ‘brake’, not mentioned in yesterday’s statement but prominent in the original paper, was an increase in ‘spin time’ between each bet.

Greyhound racing is dependent on betting shop turnover – at least in the short to medium term. Might any moderate FOBT neutering present opportunities for the dogs? A queue for the slower machines and twitchy punters looking to scratch their gambling itch in the next 30 seconds. . . .?


Finally my thanks to Tony Smith – former racing manager at half the tracks in Britain before getting one of the game – for drawing my attention to the following footage.  Tony asks if you can pick the winner from the traps – or by the first bend – or by the last bend – or with ten yards to go. . . .

Thanks to GreyhoundsNow for assistance