At a resent K.O.T.A (Kinsley Owners & Trainers ) meeting it was reported that it had now reached the target of finding homes for 185 ex-racing greyhounds from Kinsley’s Owners and Trainers, delivering on a commitment to offer a retirement home for all greyhounds suitable to home in a family homing environment.
We did so with the support of the local Greyhound Trust and a number of hard working independent volunteer greyhound home finders whom we are extremely grateful for all their support.
- O. T. A members were somewhat disappointed, disappointed to read Peter Hardens comments (Greyhound Star) that he doubts Kinsley’s and the Greyhound Industry’s ability to offer owners and trainers retirement homes for all ex-racing greyhounds – that are suitable to home in a family environment.
(That said – most but not all greyhounds are suitable to home and go onto to make great family pets. A small number can be challenging, but then again, with time and extra care can and do have positive outcomes for most.)
So what has changed for Kinsley to allow any number of GBGB tracks to offer more homes for retired greyhounds?
Well, we know that owners will in the first instance want to offer up his/her greyhound for homing at the end of the greyhounds racing career.
We know that the yearly registrations has been falling year on year from a peak of 11,500 to around 7,600.
We know that the resource is being better used and performance better managed by tracks with greyhounds having longer racing careers,.
Also, track racing surfaces are better maintained resulting in reducing the number of early career ending injuries to greyhounds.
Ladbrokes, William hill and Towchester tracks have invested vast sums to lay new better racing surfaces with most other GBGB tracks investing in track surfaces enabling the ground staff to better prepare a safe running surface.
All this investment in improving racing surfaces has paid off the evidence is measurable and evident
You can see, than as an industry we manage the resource better, servicing the racing industry with far fewer greyhounds (7,500 opposed to 11,500).
By managing the resource and performance of the racing greyhound to race longer, it has significantly reduced the number of greyhounds needing homes at the end of each year
At last the scales are starting to balance with the number of homes needed versus the number of greyhounds awaiting homes.
With this ever narrowing gap it’s now within our grasp as an industry to balance the scales offering all greyhounds (that are homeable) at the end of their racing careers, a suitable home.
The GBGB are committed to diverting new income from the betting industry to greyhound welfare, the bookmakers are committed to ensuring new income they deliver goes to welfare so is DEFRA and EFRA.
For far too long, the GBGBs green retirement form has offered owners the option of euthanasia on economic grounds – albeit after considering other more suitable options for the future well being of the greyhound.
The GBGB has never been better placed to remove this option from the green form. A greyhound should not be euthanised on economic grounds given the resource now available
Owners can now feel confident to offer up greyhounds for homing now with the reassurance that that giving up a greyhound to a well managed homing organisation will not come back to bite them under rule 18.
It is well known that, on occasion, some greyhounds, homed privately, were later abandoned by its new owner.
We can now completely prevent this happening, so why still the need for economic euthanasia?
So in summery Kinsley does not claim to home every greyhound. We cannot make assurances for people who may choose to walk away from our track, and greyhound racing completely. We do not possess criminal or civil actions.
However Kinsley will offer offer every trainer/owner attached to Kinsley an opportunity to home their greyhound at the end of its racing career – with an approved homing organisation subject to the greyhound being suitable for homing in a family environment.
KINSLEY: will work with some of the more challenging greyhounds to provide a long term home.
KINSLEY: will now remove the option from its owners and trainers to euthanasia a greyhound on pure economic grounds at the same time lobbying the GBGB to remove completely this option on the green retirement form.
KINSLEY will continue to invest in track safety and training projects that helps reduce injuries to greyhounds with better safe racing surfaces and greyhound research projects.
So Peter, please continue to monitor Kinsley. If we do fail it will not be for not having the ambition, commitment and the belief as a sport it’s morally right thing to do and more importantly it is now within all our grasp.
Importantly we should not forget, it is not just Kinsley alone who have homing schemes that are successful. Many GBGB tracks have excellent homing finding schemes that deliver good homes for retired greyhounds. We have learned a great deal from many of them.
On behalf of KOTA
I am delighted to publish this letter from John Curran. As stated in a recent Editors Chair, we must ignore the ‘anti racing’ lobby who have damaged debate and held back reform – and tackle issues that we owe to the industry and its greyhounds.
Starting later this week, I am planning a series of articles which will challenge some of our ingrained attitudes that are far from welfare friendly. The first of those pieces – featuring one of the most highly respected handlers in the country – will not make pleasant reading for some.
Floyd Amphlett – Editor Greyhound Star