Greyhound welfare has improved over the last 10 years beyond all recognition, far more emphasis on finding good retirement homes by owners/trainers and tracks for greyhounds reaching retirement.
There has been much more investment in reducing career ending injuries by the tracks with greyhounds competitively racing much longer. Many more injuries are being treated and greyhounds recovered for homing. That would not have happened just a few years ago.
Let us be honest, this change in welfare emphasis has happened not just from DEFRA and EFRA intervention, but the intervention by bookmakers making more funding available to the industry conditioned to the extra going direct to tracks for welfare projects.
These result in more homes for greyhounds reaching the end of their careers. Take streaming income, handed over to the tracks by bookmakers with emphasis on greyhound welfare
That gave most BAGS (not all) tracks upwards of £100k towards greyhound welfare projects. There is more to do if we are truly able to offer every greyhound a home at the end of it racing career.
That is why it’s important that all bookmakers follow the lead taken by Bet365, Ladbrokes, Corals and now William Hill to pay into the BGRF on all greyhound bets Onshore /Offshore.
Mark Bird has publicly stated to all bookmakers, DEFRA and the minister Tracy Crouch that all new income from bookmakers will go to Greyhound Welfare.
Bookmakers should now all pay. Owners/trainers/promoters will hold the GBGB accountable that new bookmakers monies will go to welfare.
Food for thought: 10 years ago it was reported by reputable welfare organisations that up to 20% of all abandon canines in Local Authority pounds were greyhounds Most would go onto be euthanased (unwanted) a shameful past for greyhound racing and the betting industry.
The good news is we do learn from our past. Today you will be hard pressed to find any, any greyhounds in Local Authority dog pounds or abandoned by their owners with no greyhounds now being euthanased by Local Authorities.
Let’s not wait for the next 10 years to finally offer our greyhounds good welfare with guaranteed retirement homes awaiting them.
It can start now with all bookmakers paying their fair share of the welfare cost. We have a great product provided by our greyhounds it’s time we stop letting them down!!!
(Joint promoter Kinsley Greyhound Track)