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Letters: Owners' opinions matter.

Byline: TOBY LYNAS

Toby Lynas, on behalf of theUnion of Greyhound Owners, calls for stern action on kennel safety

SUNDAY is the first anniversary of Football Focus's harrowing death. It is worth revisiting some of the pledges and responsibilities that emerged from this tragedy

In September 2002, Mr Wolfe (Catford general manager) confirmed that a decision had been made earlier in the year to replace the existing kennels (despite stating in March 2002 that air-conditioning would not be installed).

Can Catford tell us why this crucial work has still not taken place?

Last year a number of leading trainers wrote an open letter to the Racing Post expressing their concern about kennelling conditions and track safety at some NGRC-licensed tracks. They jointly threatened to boycott tracks whose kennels they felt did not meet acceptable welfare standard, a gesture of solidarity appreciated by many.

Are these trainers happy with kennel upgrade progress at those tracks which most concerned them at the time?

Was their threat to boycott tracks genuine?

The BGRB promised that kennel standards at licensed tracks would be acceptable by May 2003 - this has clearly not been achieved. UGO has written to the BGRB pointing out that this promise has never looked like being met. UGO has not received replies to these letters - the BGRB does not value owners' opinions.

Which members of the BGRB are prepared to take responsibility for their failure to deliver acceptable kennel standards by May 2003?

What is the BGRB's plan to achieve acceptable kennel standards ASAP?

The NGRC claim to safeguard the integrity of greyhound racing yet it is they who have approved the use of all kennels at NGRC licensed tracks.

Why have the NGRC still not published clear minimum standards for kennelling greyhounds at tracks (let alone best practice)?

Will the NGRC punish tracks where unacceptable temperatures are reached due to inadequate kennelling infrastructure and practice?

The NGRC, as a licencing and regulatory body, have a huge amount of power to change this sport for the better. As such, UGO expects the NGRC to provide clear guidance on what is acceptable in kennelling standards, and to uphold these standards rigorously, even going so far as to temporarily withdraw a track's licence if necessary.

TOBY LYNAS Union of Greyhound Owners committee member,

Walthamstow
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2003
Words:381
Previous Article:Letters: Did Focus die in vain?
Next Article:Letters: It's not rocket-science.


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