The UK greyhound scene secures a much-needed uplift, as this morning the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed a new funding deal of £3 million for the ‘Greyhound Trust’, focusing on animal welfare, training and protections.
The funding commitment will be paid for by UK bookmakers, with the UKGC securing a voluntary agreement with – Betfred, William Hill, Sky Betting & Gaming and Paddy Power Betfair.
The new contributions, follow bookmakers Ladbrokes-Coral, bet365 and Jennings Bet who in 2018 outlined that they would back a new co-funded scheme for Greyhound racing.
Updating stakeholders, new UK Minister for Sports, Mims Davies confirms that funding will focus on:-
- Developing a new veterinary staff training program
- Expanding greyhound injury recovery schemes
- Ensuring better and more active lives for greyhounds’ post training
- Finding more homes for greyhounds as they enter retirement
- Improving safety standards/provisions across the UK’s 21 licensed greyhound racing tracks
Backing the new funding scheme arrangement UK Sports Minister, Mims Davies, said: “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.”
Moving forward, UK bookmakers and further stakeholders will form the ‘Greyhound Commitment’ – a long-term strategic plan from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, which will ensure animal welfare and the integrity of greyhound racing remain paramount in the sport.
Mark Bird, Managing Director of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, said:
“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.”