You might recall from our 2016 and 2017 newsletters that Greyhound Compassion has been closely monitoring developments around the review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations (2010) during which the EFRA Select Committee and DEFRA committed to holding the greyhound racing industry’s feet to the fire.
One of the key EFRA recommendations in its report of 2016 from its review in 2015 was that welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming numbers be recorded and published. The EFRA Select Committee found that the lack of publicly available data made it difficult to judge the level of welfare provision. The Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations (2010) required greyhound tracks to record the injury, euthanasia data and stats about greyhounds leaving the industry as part of the local authority licensing regime and the UKAS regime run by the GBGB but the data were never actually collated centrally by the GBGB. In 2016 DEFRA secured the GBGB’s commitment to publish the statistics with a full set of data to be ready by the end of 2017.
Parliamentary questions posed by Jim Fitzpatrick MP in December 2017 reveal that the Government (DEFRA) expects the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) to begin publishing annual aggregate injury and euthanasia statistics for GBGB tracks and annual summary statistics for the number of registered greyhounds leaving the industry. The figures will cover the preceding calendar year and, for greyhounds leaving the industry, the data will include by what method. GBGB is expected to begin publishing both sets of data by the end of March 2018. Access to anonymised track injury and euthanasia data will be considered by the GBGB’s Welfare Standing Committee and DEFRA for bona fide research purposes. We are not clear about what “bona fide research purposes” means and are trying to find out. Nor do we know how DEFRA intends to handle data related to the independent tracks. Likewise, we are enquiring about the plan for these tracks outside of GBGB control.
DEFRA has been clear that if necessary it will regulate the industry because it is important, in George Eustice’s (DEFRA) own words: “to keep the GBGB’s feet to the fire and to make it understand the stakes”.
Chinese New Year takes place on a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar. 2018 is the Year of the Dog and it will be celebrated on 16 Feb, giving the GBGB about 6 weeks to finalise its data sets. We are waiting.
Thank you very much for your support for Greyhound Compassion during 2017. With your help, we have managed to make our funds stretch a long way to help a number of greyhounds and galgos. We were pleased to be able to fund CCTV for the rescue kennels in Lincolnshire as well as veterinary and food bills. Thank you also to those who donate bedding, food and soft toys which we deliver with pleasure from time to time. We contributed to Mary’s expenses to save the “Dungarvan 10” greyhounds rescued from squalor along with 140 others. Good to know that prosecutions may follow in that case. Then there was poor, poor Zeuss who suffered 3rd degree burns after having boiling water poured on him by his kennel owner. Thanks to Limerick Animal Welfare’s vet, Zeuss made a good recovery. At Scooby we funded the division of the last-remaining large enclosure and the French support group installed brand new kennels in the newly created plots. This means the galgos can live in smaller groups in secure enclosures. Our Year in Review is shown below so that you can see in more detail how we’ve spent our finances. 96.25p of every £1 we raise goes directly to a galgo or greyhound. Please contact us if you would like our full annual report for 2017.
Thank you to our supporters who fund-raise in aid of Greyhound Compassion by running sales stalls, raffles and tombolas as well as holding sponsored and social events, selling via Ebay and car boots, joining us on flag days and helping at jumble sales. This means we can always keep a small fund in case of emergency and it happened last week! Dawn from Greyhound Rescue in Lincolnshire telephoned to tell us that the boiler for the kennels had broken beyond repair, just what you don’t need at the end of November. Dawn thought it would cost £2k to replace. Greyhound Compassion could immediately offer the money. However, the final best estimate put the cost at £4k. Greyhound Compassion couldn’t afford the full amount but we honoured our £2k commitment. The greyhounds are now toasty in their beds.
In fact, Sheila Shotter is holding one such stall this weekend @GuestwickChristmasMarket. She is kindly selling her handmade Seasonal crafts in aid of Greyhound Compassion. Thank you very much to Sheila.
Elaine, Jane and Jayne sponsored and manned the Greyhound Compassion stall at the SW Animal Aid Christmas without Cruelty Festival. Very grateful to them for spreading the word about the plight of the greyhounds.
Next year Scooby has asked Greyhound Compassion to help raise money for the salary for the on-site vet. This is a position beset with challenge. It is a demanding job and relentless. It has been difficult to find suitably qualified vets to give the shelter the medical support it deserves. We are hoping to step up our grant funding applications in aid of this particular need. On top of this the fencing at the shelter is in need of repair. This is about 1km of fencing which needs renewing. Look out for the “buy 1m” of fencing campaign!
Next year is an important year for racing greyhounds. 2018 is the year the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is to begin publishing annual figures for the number of greyhounds injured and euthanised at GBGB tracks and the number of dogs that leave GBGB racing, including an explanation of what “leave” means.
Greyhound Compassion was pleased to be invited to a meeting with Greyt Exploitations and the League Against Cruel Sports in November 2017. It was The League that rightfully came to the view in 2016 that after several attempts to reform itself, the industry should be actively phased out leading to a complete ban on greyhound racing across the UK. Our meeting with Greyt Exploitations and The League in November was positive and we hope we can collaborate for the benefit of the greyhounds.