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Oxford Stadium will be “at the forefront” of greyhound welfare

kevin boothby, greyhounds

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Kevin Boothby has pledged to provide world-leading standards of greyhound care at Oxford Stadium.

It will ensure every greyhound lives an enjoyable life before, during and after their racing careers.

Greyhound Racing will return to Oxford for the first time in 10 years in early 2022 as part of Oxford Stadium’s exciting regeneration project. The much-loved venue will create 200 jobs locally via the opening of the multi-activity, community hub.

Mr Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, has responded to concerns from a small number of animal rights campaigners to outline his commitment to greyhound welfare.

Already, more than £250,000 has been invested to revolutionise the stadium’s kennel and veterinary facilities. A partnership with trainers and rehoming charity Greyhound Trust will also be formed to guarantee every dog finds a loving home once their racing careers end.

Mr Boothby said: “Greyhound welfare will be our utmost priority at Oxford Stadium. We are committed to providing every dog with an enjoyable life through their racing careers and in retirement.

“Our standards of care will go far beyond requirements for domestic dog owners across the UK, and we also want to be at the forefront of animal welfare globally.

“Trainers and owners will adhere to the exceptionally high standards greyhound racing has established via the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) Rules of Racing to provide every dog with the care and attention they deserve.

“Greyhounds are the true stars of our sport, and it is our responsibility to educate people about how we care for and love these magnificent animals via school visits, open events and online campaigns.”

Each greyhound that races at the Cowley venue will be subject to a thorough veterinary assessment before and after they race by the stadium’s dedicated team of experienced and qualified vets.

Oxford Stadium will also work with the GBGB and its Injury Recovery Scheme (IRS) to cover the costs of veterinary treatments so greyhounds can lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s essential we support trainers and owners in covering the cost of veterinary procedures to support greyhound welfare,” said Mr Boothby. “Like any domestic pet, greyhounds are not immune to injury and occasionally they require expert attention.

“The GBGB has invested heavily in recent years to ensure all greyhounds are eligible to receive treatment so they can enjoy their retirements and we are proud to support this scheme.

“Racing greyhounds live a luxury lifestyle at home where they able to play, gallop and walk with their kennelmates and dedicated kennel hands each day. They’re fed high quality and nutritious foods including chicken, raw beef, fresh vegetables, eggs and fruit to stay healthy.”

Most greyhounds retire from racing aged three to five but can live between 12 to 14 years.

In partnership with the Greyhound Trust and the GBGB’s Greyhound Retirement Scheme, Mr Boothby has guaranteed every dog that runs at Oxford Stadium will find a loving forever home once they retire.

“Greyhounds make fabulous pets and I am privileged to own some myself,” said Mr Boothby. “Greyhound trainers and owners absolutely love dogs and treat them one of the family.

“It’s a common misunderstanding that greyhounds require lots of exercise once they retire.

“It’s recommended to provide any greyhound with one-hour of exercise each day where they can burn off short bursts of energy. They’re just as happy cuddled up on your sofa watching TV as they are chasing an artificial hare at Oxford Stadium.

“With the right care and attention, every greyhound at our venue will go on to live a long and happy life. We’re very grateful to Judith and Louise from East Midlands and Waltham Abbey Greyhound Trusts and their respective teams for the magnificent job they do in rehoming these beautiful dogs and look forward to developing our partnership.”

Oxford Stadium is a multi-purpose sports and events venue situated in Cowley. It first opened in 1939 and hosted speedway and greyhound racing for 73 years before closing in 2012.

Kevin Boothby secured a 10-year lease to return the stadium to its former glory in June 2021. It will re-open early next year.

To learn more about the welfare of racing greyhounds, visit Welfare & Care | Greyhound Board of Great Britain (gbgb.org.uk).

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