Welfare Charter

Saveourstow would like to see the implementation of a Walthamstow Greyhound Welfare Charter, should racing return to Walthamstow Stadium. We passionately feel that the greyhounds’ welfare must be the single most important aspect of the new Stow. The good reputation of the welfare standards of the Stow under previous management must be built on and improved so that the new Stow’s welfare arrangements are beyond reproach and everybody who attends the track can do so in the knowledge that every single greyhound racing at the Stow has the best possible care whilst it races at the Stow and on his/her retirement. Below are some aspects we would like to see incorporated in to the Charter

WALTHAMSTOW GREYHOUND WELFARE CHARTER

1. Track to have the safest possible running surface , the best possible track shape and for the track to include every possible safety system eg padding, banking, railing etc.

2. Modern, state of the art racing kennels that have comfortable beds and air conditioning, and to be warm in winter.

3. Veterinary surgeon to attend all race/meetings {as per GBGB rules of racing}. NO greyhound to be put to sleep unless the vet and the vet alone considers that it is in the best interest of the greyhound. It is envisaged that this would only be in the case of rare traumatic injury.

4. The appointment of a track vet with specialist greyhound knowledge and experience with strong committed welfare ideals and who would be willing to attend seminars that specialise on greyhound injuries and illness.

5. All trainers to be contracted to the track and only trainers appointed that have the strongest of welfare ideals. Part of the contract will be the Walthamstow Greyhound Welfare Charter. If breached this will lead to dismissal after investigation/enquiry.

6. Consideration to be given to contracts between each owner of the greyhounds and the track to ensure that these standards are understood and upheld by everyone. As with trainers, failure to adhere to these standards will prevent ownership of greyhounds to race at the Stow.

7. Walthamstow greyhound welfare charter will go above and beyond DEFRA requirements for greyhound welfare.

8. A committed welfare manager who visits contracted trainers at their kennels to inspect greyhounds and premises to ensure welfare standards are up to the highest level expected by Stow management. The welfare manager will attend all race meetings to oversee kennelling and a re-homing office.

9. The Welfare Manager will be directly answerable to a committee that will include individuals from outside the management of the stadium to ensure complete transparency and the trust of the public. It is hoped that people such as a local MP/councillors and members of national animal charities will sit on this committee.

10. A reformed Walthamstow Greyhound Owners Association to be formed which will be part of the Welfare Committee. The Owners Association will liaise with the welfare manager and be represented on the welfare committee.

11. Re-homing kennels such as Barley Kennels will be an integral part of the welfare system. The kennels will be fully supported in all respects.

12. There will be complete transparency with regard to retirements/re-homing, racing injuries and deaths due to racing and or injuries. Statistics will be made available to the public and posted regularly on the official website and around the track.

13. An injury database will be maintained and made openly available to the public to ensure all is done to minimise injury.

14. Continued dialogue with Dogs Trust and other animal charities in order that the welfare officer can be kept up to date on all issues and act accordingly.

15. As part of the welfare officer’s job, he or she will go around the community giving talks to school children/the elderly etc to raise awareness about how good greyhounds are as pets and companions.

16. Every effort made to secure a ‘dog-mobile’-a mobile re-homing unit which will travel around the community promoting greyhounds as great pets.

17. Each greyhound’s welfare must be the number one priority for everybody connected with the new Stow.

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