Petition update

"THE WORST CONDITION OF A GREYHOUND I HAVE SEEN”

Irish Council Against Blood Sports ICABS
Ireland, Ireland

Jan 22, 2020 — 

"THE WORST CONDITION OF A GREYHOUND I HAVE SEEN”: Another appalling case of cruelty to an Irish greyhound in the nasty greyhound industry.

The latest edition of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) "Calendar" publication (17 January 2020) includes details of a recent Disciplinary Committee Inquiry which provides yet another shocking insight into the suffering of greyhounds.

The report relates to greyhound DUDLEYS FOREVER who, according to the Irish Greyhound Board website, was born here in November 2015 and was run in trials at Drumbo Park stadium (Northern Ireland) and Dundalk stadium at the end of 2016. She was subsequently raced in Drumbo Park in December 2016 and January 2017, with prize money of €0.00, before being exported to Scotland.

There, she ended up with "professional trainer" Chris Sillars. The GBGB inquiry, held on 17 December 2019, found Sillars to be "in breach of rules 2, 152 (i) and (ii), and 174 (xi) of the GBGB Rules of Racing in that every person shall have full regard to greyhound welfare and shall accept provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, to ensure that the needs of a greyhound for which they are responsible are met to the extent required by good practice."

Among those speaking at the inquiry was Alex McTaggart, a Stipendiary Steward at Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow...

According to the report:

"Mr McTaggart gave evidence that he had made a routine visit to Mr Sillars’ kennels on 2 September 2019 at 13.45. There was no reply, but the kennels were not secured so Mr McTaggart gained access. He reported that the GBGB kennel block had contained nine greyhounds and there was a further greyhound in a Chicube kennel. There were four other greyhounds in another non-registered block that had been previously deemed unusable by Mr McTaggart. One of these dogs, DUDLEYS FOREVER, a black bitch that had last raced at Shawfield on 24 November 2018, was in such poor condition that Mr McTaggart described it as ‘the worst condition of a greyhound I have seen’. Video evidence was presented to the Committee. Mr McTaggart said that in his opinion this was a matter of animal cruelty.

"Mr McTaggart said that on the same afternoon as his visit, he had spoken by telephone to Mr Sillars who had informed him that DUDLEYS FOREVER was eating well, and had been to the vet two months previously. Mr McTaggart told Mr Sillars that the bitch needed to see a vet as a matter of urgency. Mr Sillars complied and took the greyhound to Abbey Vet Group later that day. The veterinary report was given in evidence and stated that the bitch weighed 16.3 kg with a body condition score of 1/5. Further tests were not undertaken, and the bitch was euthanased.

"The following day, Mr McTaggart met Mr Sillars who accepted that it was not true that DUDLEYS FOREVER had been seen by a vet recently. It was on 2 December 2018 (i.e. ten months previously) when, according to the Treatment Book, she had been treated for ‘an infection’. Mr Sillars told Mr McTaggart that the bitch had started losing weight in May 2019, but continued to eat well; he said he did not wish to take her to the vet as he thought she would ‘just be put to sleep’. He accepted in his statement that he should have taken her sooner to the vet."

The Disciplinary Committee viewed this as "a clear case of animal abuse".

In a statement, the committee commented: "The distressing video clip endorsed the opinion of a highly experienced Stipendiary Steward that this was the worst condition of a greyhound he had ever seen, and the Committee concurred. When presented to the veterinary surgeon, DUDLEYS FOREVER weighed only 16.3kg (against a racing weight of 24-26kg). The Committee deplored the neglect of this greyhound and concluded that Mr Sillars had treated the greyhound with cruelty and in such a manner as to cause the greyhound unnecessary suffering. The deliberate decision of Mr Sillars not to seek veterinary attention was wholly unacceptable. The Committee considered the offence to be a prima facie breach of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and urged the GBGB to send the details of the case to the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh."

The Committee ordered that Sillars be warned off indefinitely.

Scroll down to read the full details of the case.

Despite the findings of the GBGB committee, the Irish Greyhound Board continues to include a listing for Chris Sillars on its website - https://www.igb.ie/results/greyhound-search/owners-page/?oid=633262 Elsewhere on the IGB website, he is listed as the owner of a greyhound named Rowallan Rose
https://www.igb.ie/results/greyhound-search/greyhound-details/?gid=ROWALLAN%20ROSE

In the IGB's listing for DUDLEYS FOREVER, there is no indication that the greyhound left Ireland nor that she suffered and died
https://www.igb.ie/results/greyhound-search/greyhound-details/?gid=Dudleys%20forever

Around 80 per cent of the greyhounds used for racing in the UK are born in Ireland. Thousands are exported every year. Speaking at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on 19 September 2019, Irish Greyhound Board CEO, Ger Dollard stated: “Greyhounds are being bred for export to the UK, to which we export 6,500 greyhounds a year.”

Here in Ireland, greyhounds continue to suffer and die. Around 6,000 are killed every year because they are not fast enough to win races. Last year's "Greyhounds Running for their Lives" documentary showed disturbing scenes of unwanted greyhounds being delivered to a knackery to be shot in the head and dumped into a skip. Watch the documentary on the RTE Player https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/rt%C3%A9-investigates-greyhounds-running-for-their-lives/104051751967 or on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM

SEE ALSO

Five Irish greyhounds exported to the UK are at the centre of an HORRIFIC case of animal neglect which has led to a warrant being issued for the arrest of a greyhound breeder and trainer. https://www.facebook.com/banbloodsports/photos/a.463548137094083/2651981721584036/

A RED C opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and Greyhound Action Ireland shows that two out of every three Irish adults agree that the government should stop funding greyhound racing. https://www.facebook.com/banbloodsports/photos/a.463548137094083/2443706942411516/

ACTION ALERT

Say NO to cruel greyhound racing - don't attend races or fundraisers/hen parties/office parties held at greyhound tracks

STOP THE STATE FUNDING FOR GREYHOUND RACING

Another €16.8 million of scarce public funds has been approved for greyhound racing for 2020. Since 2001, greyhound racing has received more than a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers' money.

Urge the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Labour Party (who back the funding every year) to respect the wishes of the majority and stop the funding.

Leo Varadkar
Leader, Fine Gael
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-619 4020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie; leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; finegael@finegael.ie
Tweet to: http://www.twitter.com/@LeoVaradkar
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoVaradkar

Micheál Martin
Leader, Fianna Fail
Constituency Office
137 Evergreen Road,
Turner’s Cross, Cork
Email: micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie
Phone: 021-432 0088
Leinster House: 01–618 3000
Leave a comment on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/michealmartintd/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@MichealMartinTD

Brendan Howlin TD
Leader, Labour Party
Tel: 053 9124036 / 053 9123765
Email: brendan.howlin@oireachtas.ie
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@BrendanHowlin

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please write your own personal letter)

Dear Deputy,

I am writing to urge you to please stop supporting the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations.

The regulations will channel another €84 million of taxpayers’ money into the horse and greyhound racing gambling industries in 2020, bringing to more than one and a quarter billion euros the amount handed over since 2001.

Much of the money given to horse racing ends up as prize money in the pockets of wealthy horse owners and trainers, while the funding for greyhound racing continues despite plummeting attendance at tracks due to shocking revelations about cruelty and killing.

If you saw the "RTE Investigates: Greyhounds running for their lives" documentary, you will understand why there should be absolutely no support given to this shameful industry. The programme revealed that 6,000 greyhounds are killed every year simply because they are not fast enough to win. We were shown horrifying scenes of greyhounds being delivered to knackeries to be shot in the head. One dog was seen writhing on the ground in agony as his merciless owner drove away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM

The programme also highlighted the illegal practice in the greyhound industry of doping dogs to make them run faster or slower to influence the outcomes of races. Also shown were greyhounds with their ears chopped off or burned with acid (to remove identity tattoos before being dumped) and the hellholes that await Irish greyhounds exported to China and Pakistan.

The Irish public is shocked and disgusted at the revelations, which have sparked multiple, ongoing protests outside tracks and calls for a ban on greyhound racing.

A RED C opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and Greyhound Action Ireland shows that two out of every three Irish adults agree that the government should stop funding greyhound racing [66% Agree, 16% Disagree, 18% Don't Know, Of those stating an opinion, 80% of these agree that the Irish Government should stop funding greyhound racing while 20% disagree.] An opinion poll conducted by TheJournal.ie also found that an 80 per cent majority want the government to permanently end the grants. Petitions urging the government to stop the funding have been signed over 300,000 times.

It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE that scarce public funds have been pumped into these gambling industries. It is time for this to be stopped and for the money to be redirected to the many deserving causes crying out for funding.

Please stop supporting the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Address]


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DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE INQUIRIES
The Disciplinary Committee of the GBGB were in attendance at a meeting held on 17 December 2019:-
Dr AJ Higgins (in the chair)
Mr R Woodworth CBE
Mr R Coughlan

Shawfield Stadium
DUDLEYS FOREVER
Professional Trainer Mr C Sillars

Professional Trainer Chris Sillars was found in breach of rules 2, 152 (i) and (ii), and 174 (xi) of the GBGB Rules of Racing in that every person shall have full regard to Greyhound welfare and shall accept provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, to ensure that the needs of a greyhound for which they are responsible are met to the extent required by good practice. Mr Sillars was not in attendance. Daniel Rankin, racing manager of Shawfield Stadium, apologised for his non-attendance. Alex McTaggart, Stipendiary Steward, was present.

On behalf of GRB, Mr Gibson advised that Mr Sillars had relinquished his licence in a letter dated 31 August 2019 but stamped as received by GBGB on 5 September 2019. Mr McTaggart reported that he had made several efforts to find a date for a Local Inquiry but on each occasion Mr Sillars was unable to attend. Mr Sillars then prepared a Statement and agreed that the Local Inquiry should be held without him; this took place at Shawfield Stadium on 9th September 2019 in the presence of the Racing Manager, Mr Daniel Rankin.

Mr McTaggart gave evidence that he had made a routine visit to Mr Sillars’ kennels on 2 September 2019 at 1345. There was no reply, but the kennels were not secured so Mr McTaggart gained access. He reported that the GBGB kennel block had contained nine greyhounds and there was a further greyhound in a Chicube kennel. There were four other greyhounds in another non-registered block that had been previously deemed unusable by Mr McTaggart. One of these dogs, DUDLEYS FOREVER, a black bitch that had last raced at Shawfield on 24 November 2018, was in such poor condition that Mr McTaggart described it as ‘the worst condition of a greyhound I have seen’. Video evidence was presented to the Committee. Mr McTaggart said that in his opinion this was a matter of animal cruelty.

Mr McTaggart said that on the same afternoon as his visit he had spoken by telephone to Mr Sillars who had informed him that DUDLEYS FOREVER was eating well, and had been to the vet two months previously. Mr McTaggart told Mr Sillars that the bitch needed to see a vet as a matter of urgency. Mr Sillars complied and took the greyhound to Abbey Vet Group later that day. The veterinary report was given in evidence and stated that the bitch weighed 16.3 kg with a body condition score of 1/5. Further tests were not undertaken, and the bitch was euthanased.

The following day, Mr McTaggart met Mr Sillars who accepted that it was not true that DUDLEYS FOREVER had been seen by a vet recently. It was on 2 December 2018 (i.e. ten months previously) when, according to the Treatment Book, she had been treated for ‘an infection’. Mr Sillars told Mr McTaggart that the bitch had started losing weight in May 2019, but continued to eat well; he said he did not wish to take her to the vet as he thought she would ‘just be put to sleep’. He accepted in his Statement that he should have taken her sooner to the vet.

Mr McTaggart said that on his 2 September 2019 visit, the other greyhounds in the kennels were in good enough condition, but there were no water bowls in the kennels and four greyhounds were housed in the block he considered unusable.

Mr McTaggart advised the Committee that Mr Sillars had only held a PT licence since the death in November 2018 of his mother, former trainer Betty Sillars, for whom Mr Sillars had been kennelhand from 1989 to 2018. He said that under Mrs Sillars, the priority had always been the dogs.

The Committee took the view that this was a clear case of animal abuse. The distressing video clip endorsed the opinion of a highly experienced Stipendiary Steward that this was the worst condition of a greyhound he had ever seen, and the Committee concurred. When presented to the veterinary surgeon, DUDLEYS FOREVER weighed only 16.3kg (against a racing weight of 24-26kg). The Committee deplored the neglect of this greyhound and concluded that Mr Sillars had treated the greyhound with cruelty and in such a manner as to cause the greyhound unnecessary suffering. The deliberate decision of Mr Sillars not to seek veterinary attention was wholly unacceptable. The Committee considered the offence to be a prima facie breach of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and urged the GBGB to send the details of the case to the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh.

In the circumstances of the case, the Committee ordered that Mr Sillars be warned off indefinitely.

Greyhound Board of Great Britain Calendar, 17 January 2020
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/gbgb-prod-assets/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/17123344/Calendar-17-January-2020-Vol12-No1.pdf?fbclid=IwAR39n2U9C6rxSYdHamE8FG1nu5Gto0smW-NE2KBaOQ4PFoogyTl8zFWlkTo


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