We have received video footage of a professional trainer’s kennel, which as you will see shows the disgusting squalor greyhounds can be subjected to.
The accompanying statements obtained from the trainer and area steward epitomises the attitude of those involved in greyhound racing – above the laws of this land with little or no compassion for it’s animals or regard for the environment.
It is disgraceful for a highly profitable gambling industry to be afforded the freedom to regulate itself – incompetently – by this government.
You or I paying a boarding kennel to care for our dogs is effectively no different from an owner or syndicate paying a trainer to care for their greyhound. The standard of welfare should therefore be no different.
Please email your MP and respectfully request the licensing of all racing kennels come under the jurisdiction of those who already license commercial boarding kennels – the local authorities.
We have composed a standard letter which you can copy and paste and send to your MP either by email or snail mail. – see below.
Please do not hesitate to edit and personalise the standard letter or compose your own but you will be limited to 4,000 words and please remember to be polite.
Details of your local MP can be found here.
You may also like to write to the local newspaper for this area – email the editor
Please click here to view the video and statements
Standard letter for MP’s:-
Further to viewing this video and accompanying statement – ‘Licensed Professional Trainer’s Kennels’
I respectfully request you ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to bring the inspection of racing kennels under the jurisdiction of the local authorities, who presently and very successfully, license commercial boarding kennels under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.
Section 5(1)(a) of that Act exempts kennels which undertake animal boarding in connection with some other business – such as greyhound racing.
The local authorities also monitor travel conditions for racing greyhounds whilst enforcing regulation EC No.1/2005 – welfare of animals in transport – and therefore have the necessary details and resources to license racing kennels alongside their existing responsibilities.
The government made over £19.4 million gross profit on greyhound racing in 2007, through the state owned Tote bookmakers. It is also estimated another £70 million is generated annually in tax through the betting industry on greyhound racing.
As what can only be seen as ‘cost cutting’ measures at the expense of the environment and animal welfare, the minimum standards for licensed Greyhound Regulatory Board kennels – previously known as the National Greyhound Racing Club – fall far short of those required for commercial boarding kennels under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, which forms the basis of the Model License Conditions – a standard used by the local authorities.
These standards stipulate a minimum and maximum temperature for kennels whilst GRB rules do not even consider heating or cooling to any level as basic requirements. This is an area of grave concern in view of the greyhound’s inability to physically cope with extremes of temperatures. It was noted that overnight temperatures fell to -6°c in Dorset last week and the housing of greyhounds in damp freezing conditions would surely constitute as cruel and causing unnecessary suffering – a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
The minimum standards set out for commercial kennels also require a sleeping area of 1.9 sq metres in comparison to 1sq metre for greyhounds under GRB Rules – clearly a two tier welfare system is in operation for racing greyhounds and other breeds.
As basic as the GRB requirements are, Ms Blanchard – a professional trainer for more than 20 years – still breeched at least 13 of the 29 sections of Racing Rules 212 and 213 ranging from undersized kennels and exercise areas to illegal disposal of dog excreta and failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent and control the spread of infectious or contagious diseases. The area steward has confirmed he did not consider these breeches as ‘serious issues’ and is still unaware of how the dog excreta is being disposed of.
Not surprising then, a canine virus broke out nationally amongst racing kennels last year, whereby the number of deaths reached well into double figures.
Please view the ‘Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dogs Boarding Establishments’ and compare these minimum standards with those contained in Rules 212 and 213 – Rules which make no reference to other relevant legislation.
Please also consider how the GRB can license and regulate racing kennels effectively when only charging a ‘one off’ kennel inspection fee of £60, in comparison to a compulsory annual inspection fee – dependent on the presence of a vet – of between £70 and £156 by local authorities.
Clearly the licensing of racing kennels should be undertaken by those who do not have a financial interest in the gambling industry or by those who have ‘no serious issue’ with breaking environmental and welfare law. The law needs to be changed.