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Kent greyhound trainers punished for protecting dogs

22 April 2005

The League Against Cruel Sports today slammed the decision of the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) to punish five trainers at Sittingbourne for refusing to run their dogs in dangerous conditions last Boxing Day.


At the hearing, held on April 19 at the NGRC’s headquarters in London, each of the five were fined £300 and reprimanded by the sport’s governing body.


The five trainers had refused to allow their dogs to run in a race at Sittingbourne on Boxing Day due to icy conditions on the track which could have injured the greyhounds taking part.


The Boxing Day race – which witnessed a full crowd at Sittingbourne – was delayed almost two hours due to the condition of the track. The five trainers withdrew their dogs and were subsequently suspended.


The NGRC “inquiry” was not attended by the track’s head groundsman, promoter or racing manager. There will be no appeal procedure for the trainers.


The League has reiterated its call for the racing industry to make animal welfare, not profit, its primary concern. The appointment of independent vets, specifically trained for the needs of racing dogs would be a first step in ensuring that greyhound welfare comes first.


Ted Manby of Tonbridge, owner of one of the greyhounds continues to support his trainer who refused to race. He said: “There was no concern about the welfare of the dogs. The racing authorities looked at the full crowd and all they saw was pound signs.”


League Chief Executive, Douglas Batchelor said: “The approach taken by the NGRC amounts to little more than a kangaroo court. It is disappointing that in this case, the racing industry is moving backwards on animal welfare by penalising trainers who had the best interests of their greyhounds at heart.”