British Greyhound Breeder Sells "Slow" Dogs for Research

 |  May 12th 2008  |   6 Contributions


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Well, doesn't this just blow the top off that old lie from greyhound racers that they care about their dogs!

So let's talk about greyhound racing. Isn't it time civilized countries (like Britain and the US) get over it? Yes, greyhounds are gorgeous when they run but as any greyhound rescuer can tell you, the dogs have much more fun racing off track in weekend events where the track is a field and no money rides on their backs.

What's the difference between puppy mills and these greyhound breeders that sell their dogs for any purpose whatsoever? Nothing?

Notice that this race miller used to be a pig breeder? With his level of concern for dogs I wouldn't be surprized if he sold dogs for food to Asian countries that still allow that horrendous culinary practice.

Thanks to the Times Online for this article.

Greyhound breeder offers slow dogs to be killed for research
Daniel Foggo

The largest breeder of greyhounds in Britain is offering to sell healthy young dogs to be killed and dissected for research, an investigation has found.


Charles Pickering told an undercover reporter that his breeding programme continually throws up dozens of fit and healthy dogs that are just a bit too slow for the tracks and therefore a financial burden to him.

Pickering, who offered to sell them for 30 each, said he was helping to supply dogs to the animal teaching hospital at Liverpool University.

He provides yearling greyhounds to Richard Fielding, a greyhound trainer, who gives his older dogs for free to university veterinary staff, who put them to sleep and remove organs for teaching and research.

Pickering said he wanted to keep his dealings nice and confidential because it was extremely sensitive. The disclosure throws fresh light on the way in which the greyhound racing industry treats both retired dogs and those that fail to make the grade.

The Sunday Times disclosed in March that the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) was buying canine body parts from John OConnor, a vet whose clinic was willing to euthanase healthy greyhounds, no questions asked.

An undercover reporter approached Pickering after hearing he was quietly sending young dogs to be put down at Liverpool University.

Pickering, a former pig farmer, breeds about 200 racing dogs a year at his Zigzag Kennels. Its website says: We make the welfare of all our stock our highest priority.

The reporter told Pickering that he was from another university and was interested in procuring surplus dogs for research. Pickering, 56, who is based at Dunholme in Lincolnshire, said: We look to sell them [for racing] for a minimum of 200-300 at 12 weeks [old].

When they get to a year old we are hoping that we can get between 800 and 20,000 for the very fastest. But, of course, along the way we get some that arent quite suitable. If its in the interest of someone for scientific purposes or study purposes, well thats a good thing. Its better than just being put down and disappearing.

Asked which of his dogs were not suitable for racing, he said: Weve got ones that simply wont chase, they are absolutely healthy, fit as you could want, but just choose not to chase the artificial hare or are just a little bit too slow for the tracks. Or the ones that turn and fight.

Pickering said he had been supplying up to 30 dogs a year to Liverpool University but we could do more if required. He later said that the dogs sent to Liverpool had either finished racing or they are the ones that dont make the grade and were taken there by Fielding, who is accredited by the National Greyhound Racing Club, the sports governing body.

Pickering said that he could supply as many dogs as required at 30 each and could even breed them specifically to be killed. When we are breeding, the ones that only reach the minimum standard for what we want, if we get too many of those it becomes a complication because we have to look for pet homes and all that sort of thing, he said.

I do give as many away for pets as we can, but these young ones, they are not used to the house environment. If they can have a use and help someone somewhere, and it gets me a tiny bit of money back, thats all the better for me.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.

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