On 30th October 2018 K-9 Angels attended the All-Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) meeting in Westminster which focused on greyhound racing and welfare. The meeting was chaired by MP’s Andrea Jenkins and Anna Turley, with animal welfare campaigners Marc Abraham and Peter Egan in attendance together with an expert panel that consisted of:-
· Mark Bird – Managing Director, Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB)
· Trudy Baker, Greyt Exploitations
· Andrew Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare & Ethics, Winchester University
· Clarissa Baldwin CBE, Chair, Greyhound Forum
· Nick Weston, Head of Campaigns, League against Cruel Sport (LACS)
It was a very informative meeting giving both sides of the debate and there were many questions raised by individuals and the many welfare organisations in attendance that are against greyhound racing. It was felt very strongly that the data provided by GBGB in respect of the Injury/Retirement data for 2017 was extremely inaccurate.
There were many issues and opinions raised in the two hour meeting and here are some of the key points:-
· GBGB had reported that there were 4,837 injuries on licensed tracks and 257 track fatalities in 2017. Andrew Knight from Winchester University pointed out that the actual number of greyhounds killed in 2017 including those away from the tracks was over 1,000.
· Trudy Baker from Greyt Exploitations pointed out that there is no record of the destruction of the young greyhounds that do not make the grade. Nick Weston from LACS advised that 12,000 greyhound puppies go missing each year.
· There were 302 more greyhounds that had left the sport in 2017 than the GBGB had stated in their data.
· 292 Greyhounds were destroyed by the industry in 2017 purely because no home could be found for them.
· Many greyhounds are destroyed by trainers purely for economic reasons.
· Greyhounds can have behavioural problems in retirement due to being kept in social isolation whilst in training.
· Firework displays are still taking place at stadiums which is extremely distressing for the greyhounds and their welfare is not being taken into consideration.
It was clear that there is still an awful amount that needs to be done regarding the welfare of racing greyhounds and ensuring that they are re-homed and not destroyed if they do not make the grade or if their racing days are over.
To help end greyhounds suffering please follow C.A.G.E.D. (Click on logo above for link)
Representatives from the Murphy’s Army registered charity were present to give a very informative talk on the important roles many animals played during the First World War and about their purple poppy campaign. The campaign pays tribute to the many animals lost in service over the years and who continue to serve today. The purple poppy is to help ensure that these animals are not forgotten. Funds raised from the 2018 campaign will benefit the Household Cavalry Foundation retired horses section and will provide cool coats for service dogs and help animals in need through Murphy’s Army. You can find more information here www.purplepoppycampaign.org or through their Facebook Page Murphy’s Army Purple Poppy Campaign.