The UK greyhound racing industry has secured an additional funding injection of £3 million for the ‘Greyhound Trust’, prioritising the welfare, training and protections of UK greyhounds, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed.
The funding commitment will be footed by UK bookmakers, with the UKGC securing a voluntary agreement with Betfred, William Hill, Sky Betting & Gaming and Paddy Power Betfair. It follows Ladbrokes-Coral, bet365 and Jennings Bet announcement in 2018 that they would be backing a new co-funded scheme for Greyhound racing.
Updating stakeholders, new UK Minister for Sports, Mims Davies confirmed that funding will focus on: the development of a new veterinary staff training programme; Expanding greyhound injury recovery schemes; Ensuring better and more active lives for greyhounds’ post training;; Finding more homes for greyhounds as they enter retirement; and improvement to safety standards/provisions across the UK’s 21 licensed greyhound racing tracks.
Backing the new funding scheme arrangement, Davies commented: “I am delighted to have reached an agreement with leading operators to ensure the welfare of our greyhounds is protected and improved through this fund.
“As the sixth most watched sport in Britain, it is clear that the welfare and care of all racing greyhounds, from registration to retirement, must be a fundamental part of its successful future.
“I strongly urge all remaining bookmakers that take bets on greyhound racing who have not signed up to this agreement to follow suit and support the sport.
“Any greyhounds put to sleep due to medical treatment being too expensive, or poor prognosis is one too many – we must stop this.”
Mark Bird, Managing Director of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, added: “The Greyhound Board are extremely grateful for the conclusion of the mediation and the commitment of the major bookmakers to contribute additional funds from their online businesses.
“The GBGB has outlined clear ambitions, within our ‘Greyhound Commitment’ as to where this new income will be spent, with the majority supporting greyhound welfare standards and initiatives, both throughout their racing careers but also as part their homing process following retirement from the sport.”