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Inquiry Chairman to visit dog track

CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew is to visit Gretna dog track as part of his probe into the welfare of racing greyhounds.

The Labour politician wants to get a first-hand glimpse of the conditions endured by dogs in one of the UK’s biggest spectator sports.

As reported previously, the issue hit the national headlines in July following an expose in the Sunday Times newspaper showing that healthy greyhounds were being shot at the end of their racing career.

Mr Martlew sought up a Parliamentary inquiry into the industry as a result and was given the green light by DEFRA Minister Ben Bradshaw, who was said to be ‘appalled’ at the culling revelations.

Mr Martlew is inviting written evidence to be sent to him in his capacity as Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW).

He said: ‘The time is ripe for a parliamentary inquiry into the welfare issues surrounding British greyhound racing.

‘Recent allegations about healthy greyhounds being put down by unscrupulous individuals are appalling.

‘But this is not a witch-hunt – we hope to identify realistic and achievable measures to improve welfare at all stages of greyhound’s lives. I hope we can all work together and people from all parts of the industry will come forward with as much information as possible’.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown, in whose constituency the Gretna track is located, has recently been appointed to the enquiry and will join the Gretna visit at a date to be confirmed.