TAKEN FROM THE GREYHOUND STAR WEBSITE READERS LETTERS...
Track Injury and Retirement data
The Greyhound Forum welcomes the publication of the Track Injury and Retirement data from GBGB and the transparency it offers, concerning the welfare issues surrounding the Industry.
There are some encouraging trends particularly the news that the number of greyhounds being put to sleep on humane grounds has reduced and that no deaths occurred because no home could be found. It is also particularly gratifying to learn that plans are in place to put in assessment protocols in order to prepare greyhounds for life as a pet after racing. However we struggle to understand how 800 or so additional greyhounds are retained by their trainers/ owners. If these dogs live for a life expectancy of 8 years, post retirement, there will be around 6,000 greyhounds living in retirement. Is this a reality?
What is disappointing and very worrying is the knowledge that Covid 19 might well have put the ideals laid out in the Commitment, in jeopardy. We are yet to learn the true effects of the virus which will be included in next years figures. GBGB have struggled manfully to help trainers in these challenging times and we would ask Lord Goldsmith and the team at DCMS to put as much pressure as possible on the Bookmakers to increase their paltry £9m Voluntary donation out of their earnings of £250m to help restore some of the welfare issues.
So, whilst it is not all doom and gloom, there is a long way to go to get to a truly welfare led Industry.
...Date Set for Launch of the Greyhound Retirement Scheme...
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has today announced that its long-awaited Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) will begin on 1st September 2020. The ground-breaking scheme demonstrates the sport’s commitment to responsible greyhound ownership and racing greyhounds for their eventual retirement journey.
Under the GRS, owners of any greyhound being registered with GBGB from 1st September will need to pay a sum of £200. Upon the greyhound’s retirement, GBGB will match this payment and a bond of £400 will be passed to homing kennels, working with GBGB, to assist with the homing process. This bond means that a greyhound’s future retirement is safe and secure before they embark on their racing careers. Owners of all currently registered greyhounds will also be eligible to join the scheme at any point from 1st September, when they pay £200. This will again be matched by GBGB on the greyhound’s retirement.
Whilst many ex-racers do enter homing kennels in order to find their forever homes, there are a number of other options including owners keeping their greyhound as a pet. In this case, the original bond would be returned to the owner. GBGB will provide much more detail as to the workings of the scheme and will publish a series of Q&A’s ahead of September’s launch.
GBGB are in the final stages of appointing a Scheme co-ordinator who will work with homing centre partners, financially administer the scheme and provide advice and support to owners and homing centres.
Commenting on the launch, Mark Bird, Managing Director of GBGB, said:
“The Greyhound Retirement Scheme has been a long-term ambition for many owners and GBGB. We had originally planned to launch the scheme in May but, given the challenges presented by COVID-19, we decided to delay its launch. I am therefore very pleased that we are able to launch it by the end of the summer.
“The GRS is absolutely the right thing to be doing to support our racing greyhounds beyond their athletic careers. I firmly believe that it further endorses GBGB’s commitment to welfare and our owners’ commitment and responsibility to their greyhounds both on and off the track.”
Greyhound Ambassador Bob Boswell added:
“This is an exciting initiative which many greyhound owners have long called for. It secures registration to retirement and beyond support to ensure as many greyhounds as possible find forever homes. This scheme will not only benefit owners but will also support those very committed people working in organisations which care for retired greyhounds. GBGB has once again shown that the welfare of greyhounds is its top priority and it continues to lead and innovate on all issues relating to welfare.”