Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Final Thoughts on Dog Racing in the United Kingdom

Christine Dorchak with Paul Littlefair of the RSPCA
Yesterday, GREY2K USA President Christine Dorchak and I returned from our fact-finding trip to learn about greyhound racing in the United Kingdom. The final days of this trip were perhaps the most hectic of all.

On Thursday we traveled to Horsham to meet with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA was the first established animal welfare charity in the world, and today helps animals in many ways. This meeting helped us understand the history of the animal welfare movement in the United Kingdom, and the work the RSPCA is already doing to help greyhounds. Needless to say, this context is invaluable.

On Friday we traveled to Hastings to meet with Kim Stallwood. Kim has decades of experience in the animal protection movement, and is an expert on the subject of political action for animals. He is also working on a new book, titled Animal Dharma.

Poppy and Banana enjoy the 1,000 Greyhounds event
We ended our trip on Sunday by participating in an event in Devon called 1,000 Greyhounds. Organizers set the very ambitious goal of breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest single-breed dog walk, while also raising funds for greyhound adoption. Even though the event fell short of the record, hundreds of rescued greyhounds from all over the country participated. We were honored to help sponsor this event, and meet many wonderful advocates and adopters. Some of the adoption and advocacy groups that also sponsored 1,000 Greyhounds include Action for Greyhounds, Dogs Trust, Greyhound Safe and the Retired Greyhound Trust.

We learned a tremendous amount about greyhound racing in the United Kingdom in just a few short days. We also met many wonderful greyhound advocates who believe that the dogs deserve better. We look forward to working with these humane leaders in future efforts to help greyhounds.

Finally, I'm disappointed that we were not given a meeting with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain even though we requested one. There are many questions we would have liked to ask the industry directly, but for now those questions remain unanswered.


  1. The GBGB are hanging on by their finger nails-not surprised they didn't dare to meet you.Once again, thank you for coming here. I believe that the industry is going through it's death throws. Perhaps I'm wrong but I just cannot see it continuing because not enough younger people want to become trainers, the prize money doesn't cover their bills,the financial situation and more people know what's really going on now with the huge amount of greyhounds dissapearing every yr. I see so many more rescued greyhounds out and about now and each one of them sends the message out to end Greyhound Racing.

  2. We,in the United States, are very thankful that the Greys in UK have active advocates. Keep up the good work.