The greyhound welfare community has been deeply saddened and outraged at the exposure in the Sunday Times today that a knackers yard who supplies meat for the greyhound racing industry has been running a sideline in killing and incinerating failed and retired racing greyhounds!!

The Sunday Times reports:“An investigation has found that Holts, a company in Hert-fordshire that has been slaughtering animals for 100 years, charges £20 each to put down unwanted greyhounds with a bolt gun and dispose of them.

Staff said they did it for “quite a few trainers”, who visited the yard most weeks. “We shift a fair bit of stuff,” said one. The corpses are incinerated.

Horse meat butchered on site is sold to the trainers as dog-food. Holts boasts that dogs fed on its flesh have gone on to become champion racers. They include a former winner of Greyhound of the Year.

An undercover reporter was told by Holts it was “no problem” to put down greyhounds that he simply no longer had room for.

“We do it [putting dogs down] for quite a few of our greyhound trainers,” said Alan Waller, who runs the knacker’s yard. “We charge £20 for a dog. It’s better than the vet.”

“An undercover reporter contacted Holts after receiving a tip-off that the family-run business was routinely slaughtering unwanted greyhounds from nearby tracks.

Waller’s son, Matt, described his methods. He said: “One [of us] can hold it while one does it. It saves you doing anything like that, because it’s not the nicest job to do.”

He said: “We don’t charge to put them down, we just charge for the disposal. The putting down side of it is free. It just costs us about 2p to do it.”

Matt Waller said: “All the owners come to us . . . they are all over the place – Peterbor-ough, Southend. They all come from miles away [because] there’s not many places round like us any more.”

Killing the dogs was a matter of routine. “A few of the greyhound trainers bring them down, old ones or ones that have done a tendon or hock [part of the leg] or whatever, they bring them down. It’s no problem, we don’t mind.”

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Once again, it seems that dogs are being chewed up and spat out of an industry which ultimately treats greyhounds as disposable commodities rather than sentient animals for which it is responsible.”

When confronted by a journalist Alan Waller said: “Greyhound trainers basically just get rid of their dogs when they are no longer any use to them and they can’t rehome them. It’s just one of the things that happens in an industry where there’s too many dogs at the end of the day and they can’t rehouse them all.”

To read the full article please use this LINK

The NGRC has “strict” rules of conduct relating to responsible ownership and what to do with greyhounds upon “retirement”, their recently updated rules are as follows (all information from the NGRC website

Rule 18 – Responsibility of owner

  1. The NGRC Stewards shall hold the last registered owner to be responsible for the welfare of a Greyhound and also for making acceptable arrangements for his/her retired Greyhound as follows :-
    1. The Greyhound be retained as a pet, or
    2. the Greyhound be boarded at a Licensed Kennel, or
    3. the Greyhound be boarded at a Kennel licensed by the local authority, or
    4. the Greyhound be found a home through the Retired Greyhound Trust, or
    5. the Greyhound be sold or found a home, responsibly, or
    6. if it is necessary for the Greyhound to be euthanased either on humane grounds or because none of the above options are available, the owner ensuring, subject to Rule 58, that such euthanasia is carried out by a registered Veterinary Surgeon.
  2. A registered owner shall inform the NGRC if there is any change in ownership of a registered Greyhound and whether or not it is intended to enter in any Trial or Race again.

RULE 58:” A Greyhound in the charge of a licensed Trainer shall not be euthanased except with the approval of and under the direct supervision of a Veterinary Surgeon unless in the Veterinary Surgeon’s absence immediate euthanasia is obviously essential, in which case the circumstances shall afterwards be reported by the Trainer to the NGRC.”

What does Rule 18 mean?

Rule 18 basically states that from the point a greyhound is registered, the owner(s) are held responsible for the welfare of that greyhound. The owners must inform the NGRC at any stage when the greyhound leaves the owner(s) care, within a 28-day period. Failure to do so will lead to a fine. A Steward’s Inquiry may impose heavier penalties and in some cases the Stewards may decide that an owner should no longer be able to register greyhounds for NGRC racing and that a trainer’s licence be withdrawn.

Forfeit List – a record of arrears published by the Stewards in the Failure to pay fines imposed by the NGRC, result in registered persons being included on the NGRC Calendar. The penalties for being submitted to the Forfeit List are as follows.

  • A person will not be able to register greyhounds for racing at any NGRC licensed racecourse.
  • Any NGRC licence granted to such person is suspended indefinitely.

We should therefore be asking the NGRC why they are allowing trainers to defect on their recently imposed rules and what will be done about trainers which have chosen to dispose of their dogs in this way??

We should also be asking how many more “Sunday Times Scandals” will it take for the government to start doing something to about the welfare problems in greyhound racing??