A Good Life for Every Greyhound
Greyhound welfare is absolutely paramount within licensed greyhound racing and everyone within the sport is committed to optimising the care greyhounds receive.
We can never be complacent around welfare and are determined to continuously drive welfare standards forward. To achieve this, in 2022 we launched our long-term welfare strategy ‘A Good Life for Every Greyhound’.
The strategy builds on the success of the Greyhound Commitment and sets out how GBGB will further promote and protect welfare across all stages of a greyhound’s life: breeding, rearing, active years and retirement.
Across GBGB’s licensed tracks, greyhound safety is the highest priority and we have a number of measures in place to safeguard the health and wellbeing of greyhounds whilst they are at the track.
- Ensuring an independent Veterinary Surgeon is present at all GBGB tracks to check the health and wellbeing of every greyhound both before and after racing. No greyhound will ever race if a vet has any concerns;
- Quarterly visits to all GBGB licensed stadia by track safety experts STRI;
- Providing every licensed stadium with expert advice and guidance on track safety from our Track Liaison Officer;
- Following an evidence-based, robust Weather Extremes Policy which ensures no greyhound races in conditions which are too hot or too cold.
Each of our racecourses is regularly inspected by our Stipendiary Stewards to confirm that their facilities continue to meet the required standards. This includes thorough investigation of their kennels, veterinary facilities, racing paddocks and equipment.
Our injury rates continue to be the lowest independently verified figures for licensed greyhound racing in the world. Through our Greyhound Commitment and long-term welfare strategy ‘A Good Life for Every Greyhound’, we hope to bring injury rates down further.
Comfort in Kennels
Racing greyhounds live in residential kennels licensed by GBGB. To become licensed, kennels must meet standards of construction as outlined in the GBGB Rules of Racing and be compliant with the BSI Publicly Available Specification ‘PAS 251 – Specification for Trainers’ Residential Kennels’.
Developed in partnership with animal welfare organisations, veterinarians, government and industry specialists, the PAS covers all aspects of caring for a racing greyhound from diet, exercise and environmental enrichment to kennel specification and construction.
Licensed residential kennels are closely monitored; they receive a minimum of two unannounced visits by GBGB Stipendiary Stewards each year as well as an annual veterinary inspection which examines all aspects of the greyhounds’ care, health and wellbeing.
Since 2021, all GBGB residential kennels are also required to undergo independent audits. These external inspections, which are carried out by experienced animal welfare auditors NSF International, are based on the PAS 251:2017 and the findings from them are shared with GBGB to inform decisions on the issuing of trainer licences. Each year, through our Trainer Assistance Fund GBGB also provides grants for trainers’ kennels to upgrade and improve their facilities.
Our Code of Practice helps our trainers obtain and maintain the high standards required of them. The Code is a broad and comprehensive manual that brings together all the existing guidance and documentation on residential kennel standards into one place so that everyone in our sport understands what is expected of them and has the knowledge, advice and support to maintain consistently high standards of care.
The Code ensures there is clarity over the high standards expected for the operation and management of residential greyhound kennels as there is for GBGB licensed racecourses.
For trainers, owners or vets needing guidance on greyhound health, or to report a suspicious disease, please contact either your local Stipendiary Steward or ring the GBGB Veterinary Advice Line on 020 7822 0913.
Please note that the above number is a telephone answering machine service. Messages will be picked up regularly during GBGB office hours by a qualified member of staff.
For emergency advice please contact your local veterinary surgeon. Other contact information can be found here.