Clarissa Baldwin has announced her retirement as Chairman of the Greyhound Forum, a post she has held for 20 years.

Speaking of her retirement, Clarissa said: “I am immensely proud of the improvements to Greyhound welfare that we have managed to achieve but at the same time I recognise that there is no room for complacency and there is still a lot of work to be done. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with representatives of all the major animal charities who have worked collegiately with the sole purpose of giving racing Greyhounds a better life.”

When asked why the Forum has not supported a ban on greyhound racing, Clarissa responded: “Calling for a ban is never far from our thoughts but while the sport has strong support from DCMS and DEFRA the likelihood of a ban is unrealistic, and continuing to press for further improvements has to be the better option”.

Clarissa also had praise for GBGB: “Mark Bird, as Managing Director, has a strong “ethic” for welfare and, given the appropriate funding, would undoubtedly achieve the Commitment.  I would love to have seen that day but it is time to pass to a younger and more agile brain.   I am therefore delighted to announce that Peter Laurie, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and a Non-executive Director of the Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Board, will be taking up the Chairmanship.  Peter has a wealth of knowledge and is well placed to continue the Forum’s work. I wish him well and will occasionally peer over his shoulder.”

Says Peter: “I would like to pay tribute to Clarissa’s extraordinary leadership of the Forum over a very significant period, and one that has seen tremendous change and challenge within Greyhound racing and welfare. So many of the welfare improvements that we have witnessed over that period – from the introduction of the Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations in 2010, to the more recent publication of injury and retirement data – can be linked directly back to the Forum. Clarissa has demonstrated exceptional determination and political skill in keeping the charities and the industry at the table and talking and she certainly leaves big shoes to fill.”