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Greyhound Commitment

The Greyhound Commitment
On behalf of our sport and industry, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, working with our trusted stakeholders and relying on voluntary funding from bookmakers, is proud to make and uphold the following commitments:
1. Greyhound welfare and safety is at the heart of everything we do.
We do this by:
• Having a zero-tolerance policy on the mistreatment of greyhounds;
• Having an independent Veterinary Surgeon present at all tracks to check the health and well-being of every animal both before and after racing;
• Enforcing a rigorous, independent disciplinary process with strong sanctions for any individual who is found to be in breach of the GBGB Rules of Racing;
• Having a dedicated Welfare Officer at all GBGB tracks;
• Promoting best practice for animal husbandry for those involved in the industry through professional development, advice and access to innovative research.
We are also publishing annual, independently verified injury and retirement data. Each year we will look to improve rates further.
2. Every racing greyhound is treated with care and respect throughout its career.
We do this by:
• Conducting a minimum of two unannounced visits by GBGB officials to residential greyhound kennels every year to ensure that welfare needs are being met;
• Ensuring greyhounds are cared for by licensed, suitably qualified and competent staff during their careers;
• Licensing and inspecting stadiums through government-approved, UKAS accredited methods. We are adding the same accreditation to our inspection of trainers’ kennels in 2018/19 to further safeguard our high standards both on and off the track;
• Making sure that greyhounds travel to and from stadiums in comfort by providing air-cooling units for trainers’ vehicles.
In 2018, we will be launching a GBGB Code of Practice for all trainers and kennel hands for residential kennels.
3. Our independently verified injury rates remain the lowest in the world and will improve further still.
We do this by:
• Having an independent Veterinary Surgeon at all GBGB tracks to check the health and wellbeing of every animal both before and after racing and to provide emergency care in the event that any dog needs it;
• Working with stadia to provide the safest possible racing surfaces;
• Having a Track Safety Consultant to ensure best practice in track preparation across all our stadia.
In 2018, we will be launching an injury-recovery scheme to help pay for medical costs where greyhounds sustain career-ending injury whilst racing.
Over the next five years, we will also be developing our relationship with the Sport Turf Research Institute. The STRI is a globally recognised company on track and athletic playing surfaces, which has already endorsed our track preparation and safety standards.
4. Wherever possible, every dog leaving racing enjoys a long and happy retirement.
We do this by:
• Investing substantially each year in greyhound homing schemes;
• Working in partnership with The Greyhound Trust, and other independent charities, to find suitable homes for greyhounds that have raced on GBGB licensed tracks and further promote their excellence as family pets;
• Continuing to develop our injury-recovery scheme to provide grants to help with the costs of veterinary care.
In 2019, we are looking to develop, in partnership with the Greyhound Trust, a behavioural assessment to help ensure that all greyhounds are suitably homed.
5. Every race is run fairly, safely and that attending a race meeting is an enjoyable and fun experience for all involved.
We do this by:
• Using our regulatory powers to ensure that all involved in GBGB licensed stadia follow the Rules of Racing, and enforcing a rigorous, independent disciplinary process – with the appropriate sanctions – where this is breached;
• Having a world class anti-doping system – more than 15,500 samples from greyhounds were taken in 2017 and were independently tested as part of our work to prevent and handle any threats to the integrity of our sport and to protect the welfare of licensed racing greyhounds. Only a tiny proportion of these (0.07%) were found to be directly related to doping;
• Being an inclusive sport, welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds either as spectators or as industry professionals.
6. Those working within the sport have access to training at the beginning of their careers, and ongoing, accredited professional development.
We do this by:
• Funding research into the health and welfare of greyhounds that further educates those working within our sport and improves standards further;
• Providing those working within our sport access to a library of up-to-date, innovative research on best practice;
• Providing training for track preparation and grounds staff at GBGB licensed stadia.
In 2018 we will be furthering this commitment through the launch of an Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship scheme for young people entering the sport which will lead to a Diploma in Animal Care.
7. Funding received from the betting industry significantly contributes to greyhound welfare.
We do this by:
• Directing at least 75% of the funding received from the betting industry to animal welfare; this year, for example, we are contributing substantial investment towards the costs of the Greyhound Trust’s new flagship national homing centre.
• Working with government to maximise income from the betting industry.
8. Together, we continue to promote our sport and nurture the public’s love of greyhounds.
We do this by:
• Educating the public about greyhound racing and promoting greyhounds as a breed;
• Promoting the considerable economic contribution of our sport, in employing over 7,000 people and remaining one of the most attended sports in the UK.
Over the next 12 months, we will be launching a GBGB ‘Greyhound Ambassador’ scheme which will bring together greyhound lovers and racing enthusiasts from all walks of life with the experience and skills to actively support and promote both racing and the successful retirement of greyhounds.

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