- Virtual or simulated dog racing would work just as well. It is realistic and used if live racing has to be abandoned.
- Sample e-racing videos are available on YouTube
- E-gaming/sports have significant potential to be billion pound industries with revenue for the Exchequer.
- There are 19 tracks regulated by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB); and
- 3 independent greyhound tracks (also known as “flapping” tracks).
- The independent tracks are overseen by local authorities.
- Having parallel systems is problematic. The dogs race interchangeably on both sets of tracks.
- Bookmakers: offer gambling on dog racing.
- Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB): governing body for licensed greyhound racing. Track standards set by GBGB.
- British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF): collects and manages voluntary levy from bookmakers. In 2019 51% was allocated to welfare. Sample spend: £1.3m to Greyhound Trust; kennel works at stadia; tractors; starting traps.
- The Greyhound Forum was set up to improve the lives of greyhounds. It comprises Battersea, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Greyhounds In Need, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Greyhound Trust, Kennel Club, RSPCA, Wood Green, Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the Society of Greyhound Veterinarians.
- Bookmakers Gross Gambling Yield: £239.47m for the year ending March 2020.
- BGRF 2019 Income: £8.87 m (0.6% of greyhound turnover). In 2019 51% was allocated to welfare. Sample spend: £1.3m to Greyhound Trust; £94.9k stadia grants in support of welfare: kennel works; tractors; starting traps.
- HMRC income from greyhound racing: £55m
- GBGB approved dog rescue centres receive £400 jointly from the GBGB and owners per greyhound to assist with homing.
Gross Gambling Yield: the amount operators retain after winnings paid out and before operating costs deducted.
Source: Hansard HC Deb (25 June 2019) Col 262 WH: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-06-25/debates/72E07CBB-614C-4487-A6CF-EC8D9641A946/GamblingLevyOnlineGamblingAndGreyhoundRacing#contribution-90975608-6D3B-460A-AAAA-83F09B454024
- It is offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Anyone in charge of an animal has to look after the animal’s welfare, ensure its needs are met and that it does not suffer.
- The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations (2010) is secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act. The Regulations permit racing which by its very nature means dogs are put at risk.
- The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations (2010) cover only on-track welfare and are insufficient.
- The regulation is part self-regulated and part statutory as per The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations (2010)
- Self-Regulation: The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is accredited by UKAS. GBGB licensed tracks have to meet the requirements of the GBGB Rules of Racing.
- Independent (‘flapping’) tracks are covered by the 2010 Regulations under the purview of local authorities.
Source: United Kingdom Accreditation Service https://www.ukas.com/
- GBGB Rules of Racing stipulate that all animal welfare legislation applies and everyone subject to the Rules should pay due regard to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
- In reality it’s difficult for anyone outside of the racing industry to gain a reliable insight into off-track welfare to be able to bring action against suspected cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
- The programme aims to halve within 3 years of 2018 the number of deaths on “economic grounds”, on-track and because no home could be found, with a broad objective to get to zero. This means 211 deaths of healthy dogs will be permitted per annum at a minimum.
- The programme also includes: an underfunded retirement bond and injury recovery scheme, animal care apprenticeships, track surface reviews, a code of practice for trainers’ kennels, greyhound ambassadors; and the publication of annual stats which give partial transparency.
The Greyhound Forum was set up to improve the lives of greyhounds. Opposition to racing precludes membership of the Forum. The Forum comprises Battersea, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Greyhounds In Need, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Greyhound Trust, Kennel Club, RSPCA, Wood Green, Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the Society of Greyhound Veterinarians.
Forever Hounds Trust & The League Against Cruel Sports are opposed and believe racing should be phased out.
The Greyhound Trust 2019 Annual Report estimates the average cost to be £948 per dog. This may vary depending on need.