Professional trainer Martin Dowman, formerly attached to Doncaster stadium has been found in breech of NGRC rule 174(xi) in that he ‘has treated a greyhound or caused or permitted a greyhound to be treated with cruelty or in such a manner as to cause the greyhound unnecessary suffering’.

During a routine inspection on 2nd April 2008 by an NGRC Steward, a young black female named Pearly Black aged only 15 months, was found emaciated amongst Dowman’s kennel stock of 28 greyhounds.

According to Dowman, the greyhound had not been eating properly since an earthquake tremor 3 weeks previous and described her as a “very nervous bitch.” Despite being an experienced trainer of 15 years, he saw no need to seek professional help and allowed Pearly Black’s health to deteriorate over the following weeks.

After being forced to seek professional help by the NGRC steward and upon the advice of a veterinary surgeon, Pearly Black was immediately put-to-sleep. According to Dowman, the NGRC believe the puppy should have been euthanased sooner.

When asked about the inquiry and the ‘extenuating circumstances’, Dowman said: “These things shouldn’t happen but we’ve never sought of experienced an earthquake and things like that… I went down to the Inquiry because I thought they were going to crucify me.”

Despite being reprimanded and fined £650 Dowman was “quite happy with the verdict.” And added: “This welfare problem now is in some respects gone too far… It’s hard always for trainers and owners… we all can’t have a Derby dog, if we could it would be brilliant.”

Dowman is the fifth trainer this year to receive a fine and reprimand for causing unnecessary suffering. None of the five trainers had their licenses revoked or were bought before the public courts to face charges of cruelty under the Animal Welfare act.

It appears that not only does the racing industry have a license to kill; they also have a license to abuse.

Rest in Peace Pearly Black


January 2007 – April 2008

(At 15 months too young to even contest a race)