Response to Panorama aired 3rd November 2014
Could last night's Panorama documentary; Drugs and Money: Dog Racing Undercover finally be the impetus needed for Defra to speed up its review of the current woefully inadequate Greyhound regulations? Sadly Dogs Trust wasn't shocked by any of the revelations in the programme but was disappointed that even the might of Panorama could not force the Greyhound Board of Great Britain [GBGB] to reveal the numbers of dogs being destroyed, injury statistics and other vital welfare data such as retirement figures which Dogs Trust has been requesting for over two years. Now is the time for Defra to step in and question the suitability of the greyhound industry to self-regulate if it refuses to share data with key welfare stakeholders such as the Greyhound Forum.
The disturbing footage of the trainer admitting to doping his dogs clearly demonstrates that the current regulations urgently need to be extended to training and breeding kennels - not just at GBGB accredited tracks. A racing greyhound will spend 90 percent of their time away from the track so this non-trackside environment must be subject to the same welfare conditions.
So far in 2014 Dogs Trust has cared for 198 Greyhounds of which at least 75 are thought to have been ex racers. The charity would willingly take more but GBGB refuses to pass this information to trainers or owners or encourage them to come to us with their retired dogs. As the Chair of the Greyhound Forum Clarissa Baldwin highlighted in the programme - rehoming only represents a small fraction of the number of dogs retired from the sport at the age of four. But it should not be down to rescue organisations to mop up the fallout of a multi-million pound industry nor to have to piece together the puzzle of where a suspected 1800 ex racing greyhounds disappear to every year.