Romford dog track is owned by Coral bookmakers and is one of the 18 tracks in the country that holds BAGS meetings during the afternoon – Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service and evening meetings where children are encouraged to attend as part of a ‘night out for the family’

Dangerously configured with its four acute bends and long fast straights – Romford’s dog track is no different to any other in the country and as the statistics will prove – the racing of greyhounds on this track is nothing more than industrialised cruelty.

Veterinary Graham Oliver states “It is a matter of fact – in racing – dogs do get injured. The fact they race round an oval circuit means that as they all come together at the first bend there are a number of collisions and that can result in injury. A lot of injuries may be minor – there may be bruising but some of them can be more major and involve fractures – particularly hock fractures and the majority of dogs that suffer a significant fracture do get euthanised – which is a shame” and for many hundreds of greyhounds nationally – the FIRST bend is often the LAST.

With the pressure on trainers to supply a gambling product for the industry – many dogs that race are already carrying an existing injury and quite often become lame during a race. Sadly – a greyhound will still keep running if at all mechanically possible because the pain from a broken/fractured leg or torn muscle is masked by the adrenalin the dog is producing in a heightened state of excitement.

In 2013 there were a total of 323 dogs recorded as either did not finish or finished a long distance behind the winners at Romford. Official racing comments use the abbreviations for these type of incidents as DNF and DIS respectfully. On track injuries occur because of either a collision or inflammation of an existing injury brought on by the physical stress of racing.

Of those 323 dogs that were involved in a serious incident – 84 have never raced again and their fate/fortune remains unknown because the Greyhound Board of Great Britain does not publish the injury or destruction rates they are required to record by law or details from a dog’s Retirement Form.

The GBGB are quick to propagate that X amount of dogs are homed annually but their racing details are not published and therefore these 84 dogs must be seen as ‘unaccounted’ for.

However – on occasions the Racing Post reports on a small number of fatalities – such as Listen To This – who was destroyed by Romford’s track vet on April 12th 2013.

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As with all tracks children are permitted entry and are exposed to not only distressing scenes of dogs sustaining injuries but are also exposed to the gambling that sustains the industry – as can be with seen this guardian who carries her baby into the gambling ring to lay a bet.

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Please click here for the names and numbers of dogs that never raced again after sustaining an injury – Dogs unaccounted for following an injury or incident Romford 2013.

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