The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has announced a further extension to the Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) owners’ dispensation.

Under the rules of the scheme, owners are required to pay £200 towards their greyhound’s retirement at the point of registration with GBGB (this £200 is matched by GBGB when the greyhound enters an approved homing centre). However, to make participation in the scheme more manageable for owners, GBGB granted a special dispensation for owners for the first year of the scheme. Under this dispensation, owners are only required to pay £100 at the point of registration with the remaining £100 due any time up to and including on their greyhound’s retirement from racing.

In August, GBGB announced an extension of this dispensation until the end of 2021 and have now announced a further extension until 31 March 2022. This is the final extension and from 1 April 2022, owners will be required to make the full £200 contribution at the same time as registering their greyhound with GBGB.

The special dispensation for British-bred greyhounds remains. Until September 2022, owners of greyhounds which are born, microchipped and earmarked in Britain will still only be required to pay a £100 bond payment upon registration, with GBGB contributing the remaining £300.

Since the GRS was launched in September 2020, over 3,500 retired greyhounds have accessed their full GRS bond with over 11,400 actively racing greyhounds enrolled. GBGB’s contribution to the GRS now totals over £1.4 million.

Explaining the change, GBGB’s GRS Co-ordinator, Paula Beniston, said:

“Through the many conversations I have had with owners over the past year, it is clear they all want their greyhounds to enjoy long, happy and healthy retirements within loving homes. The GRS provides the financial guarantee for this and it has been fantastic to welcome so many greyhounds into the scheme. 

“When we launched the scheme last year, we were well aware of the financial challenges many owners were facing as a result of the pandemic which is why we allowed them to spread the cost of their contribution. This dispensation has clearly helped owners participate in the scheme and I am pleased we have been able to offer it for so long. 

“I look forward to continuing to work with owners, trainers and homing centres as we continue to build on the success of the scheme’s first year.”