GBGB has published advice for vets and trainers during the temporary suspension of racing on the continued care and welfare of greyhounds.

The guidance is available for download here and will be shared directly with trainers via stadia. It includes advice on feeding, exercise and medication, as well as important information regarding vaccination for the coming weeks.

GBGB has already clarified that, as would be expected, travel to and from kennels in order to care for greyhounds not at trainers’ homes is essential and must continue. Trainers are nevertheless advised to avoid public parks where possible and observe social distancing protocol.

Likewise, veterinary practices are allowed to remain open for emergency care, however, the advice (as of 23 March 2020) from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is that clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum.

If a greyhound shows signs of illness or sustains an injury, you should contact your usual veterinary surgeon by phone and they will provide further instructions on how to seek advice and treatment.

Whilst trainers should continue to contact their Stipendiary Steward for any queries in the first instance, the dedicated GBGB Veterinary advice line is also open on 020 7822 0913. Please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. GBGB’s confidential Welfare Hotline is also available 24/7 on 020 7822 0917, for any urgent concerns regarding greyhound welfare.

Veterinary videos and wider help for trainers continue to be available on the GBGB website under Research and Guidance.

GBGB Veterinary Director, Simon Gower, said:

“I would recommend all trainers take time to read the veterinary advice document that we at GBGB have compiled alongside our veterinary experts and colleagues at the RCVS for the period racing is suspended. 

“It is a given that this will be trainers’ main priority, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure that greyhounds remain both physically and mentally stimulated while they are not visiting the track. Trainers should refer to the Code of Practice for advice on environmental enrichment to ensure that all greyhounds return to racing fit and healthy. 

“If any trainer has any questions or concerns, help and support is available. Do contact your usual veterinary surgeon or if you have any general questions please do contact GBGB or speak to your Stipendiary Steward.”

Mark Bird, GBGB Managing Director, said:

“While it is difficult to keep up exact kennel routines during this time we know that trainers are making every effort to keep life as consistent as possible, as we know that greyhounds thrive on routine. We hope that, in the midst of this challenging and rapidly-changing situation, these guidelines provide clarity, direction and support as trainers and vets continue to do the very best for the dogs in their care.”