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Letters: Tracks are cashing in again; Annette Crosbie says its business as usual from the BGRB.

Byline: ANNETTE CROSBIE

YOUR report about the payments made by the BGRF is profoundly depressing. All those familiar promises of prize-money and welfare that the BGRB has been making in its attempts to screw more money out of the bookmakers - all broken in the usual splurge on capital assets.

No wonder the bookmakers didn't believe them. I'm astonished they expect anyone to believe them. Looking after the workforce has never been part of the BGRB agenda.

The bookmakers could easily ensure that money went directly to the dogs. They already have our proposals to establish their own welfare charity, which would provide sanctuaries for the dogs and an educational programme of qualifications in greyhound welfare.

We notice that they're playing a part in the Gambling Industry Charity Trust, set up to address the issue of gambling addiction when gambling laws are relaxed.

It would be nice to think moral scruples were being exercised here and not simply a response to the threat by the Government of a statutory levy if they didn't toe the line.

On a separate point, the frequency of races for individual dogs as described by Denis Beary in his letter last week is not confined to the Classic competitions.

Last year I went to see Frank Melville with detailed evidence given to me about another track where some dogs were lucky to get one day's rest between races.

Mr Melville said the NGRC rule was that a dog should not be raced more than twice a day! What was his reasoning? Well, none. Just like it or lump it. The NGRC wouldn't recognise welfare if it poked them in the eye (I was sorely tempted at the time!)

I was also very interested to read Beary's report of the worldwide agreement that a track radius of 40 metres or above significantly reduces injury rates. It is a scandal that injury rates at individual tracks are kept secret by the promoters. Can someone tell us the radius of bends on tracks now operating?

Owners of the new track to open in Coventry claim that it has wider bends than any existing track. So how will that shape up against the `worldwide' standard?

ANNETTE CROSBIE

Greyhounds UK

London SW20
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 29, 2003
Words:371
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