New Code of Practice brings together guidelines on greyhound welfare from across the sport for the very first time 

The British greyhound industry has taken another step forward in cementing its place as amongst the best in the world for greyhound welfare. From this month, all residential kennels will be externally audited to ensure they are upholding the very highest welfare standards.

All greyhound residential kennels will now be subject to an independent inspection from NSF International as GBGB seeks to extend its UKAS accreditation which up until now has only covered the licensing of racecourses. Auditors from NSF, which has extensive experience of conducting animal welfare audits, will be licensed by GBGB and will begin contacting trainers from next month to arrange an inspection. The findings of these inspections will be shared with GBGB to inform decisions on the issuing of its trainer licences for 2021. Trainers’ current licences will be unaffected and trainers will still be required to arrange an annual veterinary kennel inspection as normal.

The new inspections will be based on the criteria detailed in the PAS 251: 2017 ‘Specification for Greyhound Trainers’ Residential Kennels’. This document will be made available in the new Trainers’ portal on the GBGB website. All GBGB licensed trainers will shortly be receiving a letter explaining how to access it.

To assist trainers to prepare for these new inspections, GBGB is also launching a new Code of Practice. This is a comprehensive manual covering all aspects of caring for a greyhound’s mental and physical health and includes recommendations on the construction, maintenance and management of kennels as well as guidelines on environmental enrichment, exercise, nutrition and dental care.

The Code of Practice has been produced in consultation with trainers, veterinary professionals and animal welfare partners and seeks to be a helpful and practical tool. It is intended to be a ‘living’ reference document, so will be updated periodically.

Hard copies of the Code of Practice will be sent to all licensed kennels and it is available on the GBGB website  here.

Commenting on the new Code of Practice, Peter Harnden, GBGB Trainers’ Representative, said:

“The new Code of Practice gives clear guidelines of what is expected of all trainers and will make sure that standards across our sport are brought up to those of the best. Trainers will be familiar with a lot of the guidance contained within it but having all the information in one place is really helpful for us all. It means that every member of kennel staff, whatever their experience level, is working from the same guidelines.”

Mark Bird, Managing Director of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, said:

“Our new inspection and accreditation procedures, as well as the launch of the Code of Practice, signal a step change in welfare standards in our sport and I would like to thank all our trainers for their support as we introduce these. By including residential kennels in our UKAS accreditation, we are demonstrating to everyone – both within and outside the sport – our unwavering commitment to upholding the very highest welfare standards for our greyhounds.

“Through the Code of Practice, we are now providing a thorough, evidence-based guide to all these aspects of greyhound care and a clear framework for everyone to follow.  It will become the definitive reference document for trainers and kennel staff to use for their day-to-day operations. Along with the new inspections, it will mean that we can ensure all GBGB registered greyhounds receive the best treatment, both at the track and at home in their trainers’ kennels.”

Paul Illingworth, Senior Stipendiary Steward, said:

“Whilst much of what is contained within the Code of Practice will be familiar to trainers in terms of day-to-day routines, it will ensure that everyone working in the industry has the knowledge, advice and support they need to provide the very best standards of care. 

“Over the coming weeks and months, GBGB Stipendiary Stewards will be continuing to work closely with trainers and kennel staff to ensure they are successfully embedding the Code into their daily routines and kennel environment. If you have any questions about the new inspection process or the Code of Practice, please contact your Stipendiary Steward.”