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Greyhound trainer ‘admits’ many are destroyed

A GREYHOUND breeder and training living in Ireland has been ‘outed’ by a leading Greyhound welfare group after he admitted in Internet Forum postings that large numbers of Greyhounds bred for racing on British tracks, are destroyed before they even reach the UK.

According to Greyhound Action, Richard Newell's admissions are the latest in a string of Greyhound racing revelations that have rocked the dog racing industry since July of last year, when builders' merchant, David Smith, was exposed in the national media as having killed 10,000 unwanted Greyhounds over a period of 15 years.

Mr Newell, who lived in Coventry and raced Greyhounds at many of the tracks in England before moving to County Cork in Ireland a few years ago, made his revelations on Greyhound Scene, a forum for supporters of dog racing.

Greyhound Action issued a press release quoting some of Mr Newell’s comments
Tony Peters, UK Co-ordinator for international Greyhound protection organisation Greyhound Action commented : ‘I am not in the slightest surprised by Newell's admissions.

‘According to our research 15,000 Greyhounds, bred for racing on British tracks, are put to death every year after being considered unsuitable for the purpose.

‘Most of these dogs are bred in Ireland and are often killed there if it is decided they won't make the grade in Britain.

‘Although many of these dogs may never even reach our shores, the British greyhound racing industry is nevertheless responsible for their slaughter, as it is demand coming from the British tracks that has caused them to be bred in the first place.

‘Breeders can usually tell at a very early age whether or not a greyhound will be any good for racing, so many pups get put down at just a few months old.’

OUR DOGS contacted Richard Newell at his home in Ireland and he said he was only too pleased to comment further.

‘Yes, I stand by every comment I made on the Forum postings, although not the bits that Greyhound Action added in,’ he said. ‘The attitude to Greyhounds here in Ireland is completely different to what it is in Britain. Here they are a commodity, the same as any other livestock. You breed a cow to milk it and for meat. You breed a pig to eat it.

You breed a Greyhound to race.

‘That doesn’t mean I don’t have affection for my dogs – I’m watching four young pups that I bred out here in the forest running around like mad things, chasing everything that moves - but that’s what they’ve been bred for. Yes, I keep my bitches in a garage, but I wouldn’t let them in my house – they’d trash it, because they’re not kept as pets.’

Mr Newell refuted his ‘hard nosed’ image, but qualified his comments, adding: ‘I’m not saying that greyhounds can’t make good pets – they can – but not all of them. If any of mine don’t make the grade, then I have various options open to me. They can be sold at auction, maybe to go to Britain. Or they might be suitable as rehoming as pets – I don’t have a problem with giving them away as pets, but only if they’re suitable, or they may have to be put down. I don’t shoot them or bash them over the head, I take them to the vet and it’s done properly.’

Mr Newell said that there was a whole different emphasis on rural life in Ireland than there was in Britain, which was why he was happy to move there. ‘I breed greyhounds to race, that what’s I do,’ he declared. ‘I treat them well, but at the end of the day, I’m a realist, which is more than I can say about some of the campaigners. It’s definitely a labour of love with greyhounds.’

By Nick Mays,
Chief Reporter