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GBGB announces racing has moved behind closed doors

18 March 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- GBGB is today announcing that, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, British greyhound racing is to move behind closed doors as of today at all licensed stadiums in England.

The decision comes following further discussions with veterinary experts and representatives from across the industry, taking into account the most recent advice from the U.K. government and Public Health England on this rapidly evolving situation.

Managing Director of GBGB, Mark Bird, said of the announcement:

“These are uncertain and unprecedented times and our utmost priority is always the welfare and care of the greyhounds at the center of our sport. We are likewise mindful of the health and well-being of everyone associated with British greyhound racing and of course our wider social responsibility to help minimize the transmission and impact of COVID-19.

“As a sport, we have therefore taken the collective decision to move all racing behind closed doors from today across our licensed stadia in England. We believe that this is the best way of the sport continuing to operate safely and successfully for the moment; minimizing risk but maintaining the cashflow that is essential to everyone’s livelihoods and to the care of our greyhounds.

“Likewise, after Saturday this week, all open racing will be suspended temporarily to reduce the need for traveling between stadia. We will be working alongside track owners and promoters to support those most affected by this, with greyhounds being entered into graded races where possible in the short term.

“These measures will help to safeguard the welfare of our greyhounds by ensuring that, although behind closed doors, racing continues wherever possible at this stage. However, as the situation develops at pace, we are also continuing to put in place contingencies and ring-fencing funds to support those working in the sport, should racing eventually need to pause altogether. We will be joining other industries in urging the government to widen the financial support for businesses and the self-employed in case of this eventuality.”

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