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Greyhound breeder offers slow dogs to be killed for research

Von: Old Codger (oldcodger@anyoldwhere.net) [Profil]
Datum: 11.05.2008 16:57
Message-ID: <s72e24llntffbie9ohbqluo0qcs2mnkm0a@4ax.com>
Newsgroup: sci.agriculture.poultry uk.rec.fishing.coarse uk.business.agriculture uk.rec.gardening uk.rec.birdwatching uk.environment.conservationtalk.politics.animals alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian
From The Sunday Times May 11, 2008
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 âfit and healthyâ dogs that
are âjust a bit too slow for the tracksâ 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

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

Pickering said he wanted to keep his dealings ânice and confidentialâ
because it was âextremely sensitiveâ. 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 OâConnor, a vet whose
clinic was willing to euthanase healthy greyhounds, no questions

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: âWe make the welfare of all our
stock our highest priority.â

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: âWe look to sell them
[for racing] for a minimum of £200-£300 at 12 weeks [old].

âWhen 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
we get some that arenât quite suitable. If itâs in the interest of
someone for scientific purposes or study purposes, well thatâs a good
thing. Itâs better than just being put down and disappearing.â

Asked which of his dogs were not âsuitableâ for racing, he said:
âWeâve got ones that simply wonât chase, they are absolutely
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.â

Pickering said he had been supplying up to 30 dogs a year to Liverpool
University but âwe could do more if requiredâ. He later said that the
dogs sent to Liverpool had either âfinished racing or they are the
ones that donât make the gradeâ and were taken there by Fielding, who
is accredited by the National Greyhound Racing Club, the sportâs
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. âWhen 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,â he said.

âI 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, thatâs all
the better for me.â

Fielding, who is based in Lancashire told the reporter he had four
âvery healthyâ dogs which he was happy to have taken away and killed

âI got shot of 10 old ones last year. Liverpool is a godsend in that
respect because they are used for a good purpose.â He did not charge
the university for them.

When contacted by the Sunday Times he denied taking any of Pickeringâs
dogs to the university and insisted the only greyhounds he took there
were old and not rehomeable.

Pickering later denied ever having sent dogs for research.

Dr Eithne Comerford, who works at the universityâs hospital and had
arranged to take greyhounds from Fielding, told the undercover
reporter that it was ânot something weâre particularly mad about . . .
weâre all vetsâ. She stressed that the dogs were âeuthanased
and used for âmultiple projectsâ. She said they were not paid for and
the RVC scandal had caused âhuge havocâ.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool University defended its activities. âOur
approach to veterinary research is of the highest ethical standard. We
only carry out research on tissues of dogs and cats that have died or
been euthanased and with the full consent of the animalâs owner.â

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