INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE GREYHOUND INDUSTRY IN GREAT BRITAIN
Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference for the Independent Review were as follows:
- To review the current and future regulation of greyhound racing and to make recommendations as to what changes are needed in respect of regulation at the NGRC and elsewhere.
To ensure that regulation of greyhound racing is efficient and effective and embraces the principles of modern regulation, namely:
- There shall be no impediment to the Chairman commenting on other matters relevant to regulation issues.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
- The greyhound racing industry should remain self-regulated providing it adopts the proposed reforms.
- To create a single entity to conduct the governance, administration, finance and regulation of greyhound racing, to be called the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB)
- The single main Board of the GBGB shall be smaller than at present and contain an increased proportion of independent members. It would contain 10 members: 3 promoters, 1 practitioner, 3 independents (including one from the Regulatory Board), plus the independent chairman of the Regulatory Board, the Chief Executive (who is also on the Regulatory Board) and an independent Chairman having a casting vote. Any proposition would need some independent support to succeed.
- A separate Stewards Disciplinary Committee to be created.
- The existing committee structure to be strengthened.
- Many of the existing staff to be employed in the new structure
- Early review to establish the number of Stewards and officers required to carry out the regulatory functions in the field, with the assumption that the number of Stipendiary Stewards should be increased - probably to at least 12.
- Directors should serve no more that 4 years at a time, with a maximum of 8 years.
- The funding of greyhound racing should be revised.
- Consideration should be given to altering the payments for transmission licenses and track licenses, while bearing in mind any adverse impact on smaller tracks. Changes in other regulatory fees are suggested.
- Registration fees should be increased and a percentage should be returned to the owner on evidence that the owner has secured the greyhound's future in accordance with Rule 18.
- The Regulator should be represented on the BGRF Board and on its recommended interim replacement in the new governing structure, ie, at least one of the 3 GBGB nominees should be from the Regulatory element.
- The BGRF should in due course be disbanded and the Greyhound Levy funds be made available to the new GBGB to decide expenditure priorities in the interests of the sport. In the interim period - not exceeding 2 years - the Fund Board should be reduced by half to operate within the GBGB headquarters. Expenditure on welfare and integrity to be top-sliced from the budget.
- The Regulator should enjoy the maximum independence compatible with its due accountability to the industry which finances it and which it serves.
- Leading tracks, including BAGS tracks, must accept that they have a collective responsibility for driving the improved welfare agenda
- Regulation of tracks under the new Animal Welfare Act and its secondary legislation - which will apply to independent as well as licensed tracks - might best be achieved through a hybrid system, whereby the sport's regulator would license tracks registered with the GBGB and local authorities, in cooperation with the GBGB, would enforce regulations at the independent tracks.
- Recommendations are made for secondary legislation in relation to Breeding, Registration, Veterinary provision, Kennelling, Drug Testing and dog transportation.
- The new ruling body to increase provision for re-homing retired greyhounds.
- All racing greyhound breeders to be licensed by the Regulator and subject to veterinary supervision.
- Breeding issues deriving from Ireland to be the subject of rapid negotiation between the British and Irish governments and racing authorities.
- All greyhounds to be registered at birth or at time of ear-marking (12-15 weeks).
- Improvements to be made in identification and tracking.
- More graded races to be provided for veteran greyhounds.
- Research to be commissioned into the desirable age at which greyhounds commence racing.
- Validated statistics of track injuries to be centrally maintained.
- More research to be commissioned into the breeding of sturdier greyhounds, into the quality of track surfaces, and into the relationship between greyhound nutrition and injuries.
- A condition of track licences should be that a track operates an efficient dog re-homing scheme.
- The industry should increase the financial support for retirement provision.
- Liaison between British and Irish racing authorities to be systematically developed and Defra to establish a senior committee to assist this process at governmental level.
- Recommendations for improved technology and procedures for data collection and record-keeping in the sport to ensure better tracking and tracing of greyhounds and the proper maintenance of a data base of injury statistics.
- Greyhound Racing's authorities should encourage the positive aspects of independent racing and assist the better independent tracks to prosper and achieve common welfare and integrity standards.
- The current Rules banning participation in independent racing should be dropped in favour of a revised Stud Book Name scheme. The greyhound authorities should consider offering more transitional incentives to encourage independent tracks to join licensed racing.
- The independence and authority of track veterinarians should be enhanced by the introduction of written local contracts covering attendance commitments, remuneration and notice periods. The issue of a track licence should be conditional on the existence of such contracts. These contracts would be backed up by a standard National Service Level Agreement covering the matters over which the veterinarian would have ultimate authority, primarily covering welfare, and requisite veterinary qualifications and minimum track veterinary facilities.
- A schedule of minimum track veterinary facilities to be agreed and facilities improved.
- More rigorous independent inspection by licensed and qualified veterinarians of trainers' kennels to be introduced.
- The new Greyhound Regulatory Board should introduce improved arrangements for licensing and training veterinarians who act at tracks and inspect trainers' kennels.
- Detailed recommendations are made for the committee composition, agenda and timetable to ensure an expeditious transition to the new GBGB.
THE NEW GOVERNING AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY
TRANSITION TO THE GREYHOUND BOARD of GREAT BRITAIN
PERSONS AND ORGANISATIONS WHO SUBMITTED WRITTEN AND/OR ORAL EVIDENCE
British Greyhound Racing Board
Lord Lipsey of Tooting Bec - Chairman Barry Johnson - Independent Director Richard Hayler - General Secretary John Petrie - General Secretary (until 1st May 2007)
National Greyhound Racing Club
Edward Bentall - Senior Steward Hazel Bentall - Veterinary Steward Neville Dunnett - Steward Linda Jones - Steward Bill McDermott - Steward Richard Shuster - Steward & Treasurer
British Greyhound Racing Fund
Charles Lenox-Conyngham - Chairman Margaret Woodruff - Fund Secretary
Association of British Bookmakers
Tom Kelly - Chief Executive
Racecourse Promoters Association
John Curran - Kinsley Clive Feltham - GRA Clarke Osborne - Stadia UK Simon Levingston - Secretary RCPA
Society of Greyhound Veterinarians
Frances Allen Andrew Bartholomew Mike Harvey Diana Hodson Richard Lockyer Richard Payne Michael Watts
Greyhound Trainers Association
Jim Reynolds - Chairman John Haynes - Past Chairman
Federation of British Greyhound Owners' Associations
Greyhound Breeders Forum
Independent Greyhound Racing Association
Jason Gamble - Chairman David Smith
Welfare Charities & Organisations
Dogs Trust Greyhound Action Greyhound Rescue - Wales Greyhound Rescue - West of England Greyhounds UK Greyhounds' Voice League Against Cruel Sports Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Swiss Valley Greyhounds - Wales
Adrian Neilan - Chief Executive - Bord na gCon D J Histon - Deputy Chief Executive - Bord na gCon Jerry Desmond - Chief Executive - Irish Coursing Club Animals Need a Voice in Legislation (ANVIL) - Ireland Rescued-Greyhound Owners Network (RGON - Ireland
Mr Floyd Amphlett - Greyhound Star Mr Gordon Bissett - Ladbrokes plc Mr Charles Blanning - Past Keeper of the Greyhound Stud Book Mr Roy Brindley Mr R G Britts Ms Louise Clark Mrs Jilly Cooper Mr Alex Cull Professor Edward Houghton Mr Robert Hughes Mr Sean Lawless Mr Steven Saward - Betfair Ltd Ms Tanya Stevenson - Channel 4 Television Mr Terry Westwood Mr Michael Wheble MBE Mr S Wright
We are grateful for the help and advice provided by officials at both Defra and the Local Authorities Coordinating Office on Regulatory Services (LACORS).
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
|ABB:||Association of British Bookmakers|
|APGAW:||Associated Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare|
|AWA:||Animal Welfare Act (2006)|
|BAGS:||Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (a co-operative of bookmakers formed to provide racing product to betting shops)|
|BGRB:||British Greyhound Racing Board (the sport's representative body)|
|BGRF:||British Greyhound Racing Fund (Made up of representatives from the sport and bookmakers to administer a particular money stream from the off course betting industry)|
|BHA:||British Horseracing Authority|
|DCMS:||Department of Culture, Media and Sport|
|Defra:||Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs|
|FBGOA:||Federation of British Greyhound Owners' Associations|
|GRA:||Greyhound Racing Association (a company promoting greyhound racing, it runs six tracks, including the very first, Belle Vue, and Wimbledon, home of the Derby)|
|GBGB:||Greyhound Board of Great Britain (proposed)|
|GRB:||Greyhound Regulatory Board (proposed)|
|GSB:||Greyhound Stud Book (for British-bred greyhounds)|
|GTA:||Greyhound Trainers' Association|
|GV:||Greyhound Voice (a greyhound welfare group)|
|HBLB:||Horserace Betting Levy Board|
|HFL Ltd:||The forensic laboratory which tests for drugs in greyhounds)|
|IGB:||Irish Greyhound Board, also commonly termed Bord na gCon|
|LACORS:||Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services|
|LBO:||Licensed Betting Office|
|NGRC:||National Greyhound Racing Club (the sport's regulator)|
|PA Sport:||A division of the Press Association, runs greyhound industry form database|
|RCPA:||Racecourse Promoters' Association|
|RCVS:||Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons|
|RGT:||Retired Greyhound Trust (the sport's official retirement charity)|
|SGV:||Society of Greyhound Veterinarians|
|SIS:||Satellite Information Services Ltd (a company that broadcasts racing and information to betting shops)|
|SLA:||Service Level Agreement|
|SP:||Starting Price (mechanism used to determine price that settles bets)|
|UKAS:||United Kingdom Accreditation Service (a national body that measures standards and competence)|