Welfare & Care
We are a country of animal lovers and sports lovers so it is vital that animal welfare is at the heart of greyhound racing.
The industry employs over 7,000 people who work to provide outstanding care to the thousands of registered racing greyhounds throughout the country.
From vets, stewards and racing managers to trainers and kennel staff, everyone involved in greyhound racing does it for the love of our dogs and our enjoyment of seeing them do what they do best.
The Greyhound Commitment
Our Greyhound Commitment sets out our expectations of how our sport should be run with welfare at its heart.
Launched in 2018, it is a series of statements which are underpinned by a number of initiatives and pledges, some of which GBGB already carries out and some of which are being developed. The Commitment has been agreed by all trainers, owners and stadia that we regulate because we all know that without happy, healthy hounds, we have no sport.
Unlike British horse racing, which is funded via a statutory levy on bookmakers, our work to support greyhound welfare is currently funded by voluntary contributions from the betting industry.
Through the Commitment, we have overseen the roll-out of a host of new welfare initiatives designed to improve standards in our sport even further. We are clear, however, that we need secure, adequate and long-term funding so that we can deliver on our ambitious welfare goals.
Safety at Track
The safety of every greyhound racing at a GBGB licensed track is absolutely paramount.
An independent Veterinary Surgeon is present at all GBGB tracks to check the health and wellbeing of every greyhound both before and after racing. They are also there to provide emergency care in the event that any dog needs it.
Like any animal, a racing greyhound is likely to experience injuries and illnesses throughout its lifetime. However, we constantly strive to minimise the possibility of an injury occurring whilst a greyhound is racing at our tracks. Each year, overseen by our Track Sub-Committee, we fund research into track improvements with a view to reducing injuries and helping to extend racing careers.
Our injury rates remain world-leading and through our partnership work with Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), for example, we hope to further improve this.
Additionally, there have been a number of upgrades to racecourse kennels in recent years to ensure greyhounds can rest comfortably before and after their races. GBGB has also provided a number of grants for total rebuilds or for the installation of temperature control and air management systems to further improve standards of care at the track.
Each of our racecourses is regularly inspected by our Stipendiary Stewards to confirm that their facilities continue meet the required standards – this includes a thorough investigation of their kennels, veterinary facilities, racing paddocks and equipment.
Comfort in Kennels
Our field force of Stipendiary Stewards work closely with trainers across the industry to share the latest in best practice and guidance. GBGB also funds grants for trainers’ kennels to support the upkeep and renovation of these facilities.
We are currently developing our new Kennel Standards guide, as part of our Code of Practice, which sets out clearly the levels of cleanliness, space, exercise and nutrition expected at trainers’ kennels. These standards will be monitored closely by our Stipendiary Stewards so that every licensed greyhound has the comfort and care they need at their residential kennels.
As well as inspections by our Stipendiary staff, all trainers’ kennels and facilities, irrespective of how many greyhounds they are caring for, are required to have an Annual Veterinary Inspection. This inspection, undertaken by a licensed veterinarian, monitors all aspects of the dogs’ care, health and wellbeing at their residential kennels.
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.