The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) cares passionately about greyhound welfare and is committed to working to raise standards of care still further.
The GBGB supports retired greyhounds in a number of ways and in 2013 donated £1.4 million to the Retired Greyhound Trust, which rehomed 3,742 ex racers in that year alone.
The GBGB also administers a Retired Greyhound Fund that, in 2013, awarded £26,000 towards capital projects being undertaken by individuals, groups and organisations across Britain actively rehoming retired greyhounds. Since the establishment of the Fund in 2005, 89 grants have been awarded to responsible rehoming centres to assist with projects directly linked to improving welfare and rehoming opportunities.
In addition to the Retired Greyhound Trust, there are many other outlets through which retired greyhounds may be homed. These include charities such as Battersea Dogs Home that have greyhounds among a number of breeds, or Greyhound Rescue West of England that is substantial and devoted to homing greyhounds. Many greyhounds are kept as pets by their owners on retirement. A large number are kept in retirement by their trainers; some of these will be rehomed in due course, others may live out their lives with their trainers.
Owners must inform the GBGB when a greyhound retires. This must be done using a distinctive green form that can be obtained from any licensed track, or by calling the GBGB on 020 7822 0900. Alternatively, you can download a form by clicking the link below.
GBGB Retirement Form (please refresh page if you experience problems when downloading)
The GBGB has produced best practice guidelines to maintain and improve the safety of racing surfaces at tracks. It is working on several practical welfare-based projects and is committed to sharing any findings with all greyhound tracks through the publication of easy-to-use manuals. In 2013 the GBGB spent over £270,000 researching and improving the safety of tracks across the country, reducing injuries and helping to extend racing careers. The vast majority of tracks now have a bore hole, enabling them to be watered as part of their maintenance routines, whatever the weather. Upgrades to racecourse kennels have been completed in recent years and the sport has provided grants totalling more than £1m for total rebuilds and for the installation of temperature control and air management systems to ensure greyhounds can rest in comfort and safety before and after their races.
Grants to tracks for safety improvements totalled £270,000, including investment in infrastructure such as drainage, new hair rails, bore holes and water tanks as well as for track preparation equipment such as bowsers and salt spreaders.
The sport is committed to pursuing evidence-based policy, basing decisions on results from solid, scientific research. The programme of welfare research continues to expand. It currently includes major projects examining potential new track surface materials, methods of identifying greyhounds, methods of oestrus suppression, track preparation methods and greyhound training practices. The sport also offers bursaries each year to student vets wishing to carry out smaller research projects of benefit to greyhound welfare and offers work experience to student vets at greyhound training centres across the country.
Welfare During Transport
The welfare of greyhounds during transport is taken extremely seriously and strict rules are in place to ensure greyhounds travel to and from racecourses in safety and comfort. Since 2004 the sport has provided 100% grants for trainers to install air management or air conditioning systems in their greyhound transport vans. Travel cages are important to ensure greyhounds are safely restrained in vehicles and grants are available to ensure such cages meet accepted requirements in terms of size and build.
The Role of Vets in Greyhound Racing
A vet is in attendance at all race and trial meetings. The vet checks the greyhounds before and after racing. Steps have also been taken to ensure the independence of track vets. The GBGB can stop vital central funding towards the cost of track vet attendance at a track if it believes that a contract with a track vet has been terminated unfairly. The sport supports the work of the Society of Greyhound Vets, that helps to promote greyhound veterinary science, has developed various initiatives including a training DVD for track vets and is involved in the development of welfare policy via the membership of the GBGB Welfare Committee.
The GBGB works closely with major welfare charities via the Greyhound Forum. This body, established more than ten years ago includes representatives from the RSPCA, Blue Cross and Dogs Trust. The Forum is an important arena for the discussion and development of industry-wide welfare projects