Greyhound Track Guilty

1/11/09

The court heard some dogs were kept in almost total darkness

Inspectors found dogs kept on soiled bedding and kennels smelling of urine at Swansea's greyhound stadium. One animal had an open cut on its tail with blood smeared across its kennel wall, magistrates in the city heard. Other dogs were roaming loose and there was an open bin bag and a block of frozen meat dumped on the floor.

Francis Short, 64, who lives at the track in Fforestfach run by his ex-wife, admitted one offence under the Animal Welfare Act and must pay £515. Kelly Byrne, prosecuting on behalf of Swansea council, told the court environmental health officers visited the stadium on 5 March this year. She said they found the greyhound kennels were of a "very poor standard". As well as the soiled bedding and general disrepair some dogs were kept in poor light "with some kennels in complete darkness".

A vet who was called to look at the dog with the open wound thought it was at least a week old, said Ms Byrne. Short told officers that he had been treating the dog but it must have "eaten the bandages".

Stadium closing

He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and was before the court for sentencing. In mitigation Craig Davies said his client had been involved with racing dogs for 55 years and had never been in trouble before. He said Short was in poor health which had made it difficult for him to care for the dogs kept at the track, although he did receive daily assistance from the Greyhound Trust. Mr Davies argued that many of the problems "were cosmetic" and that Short had been treating the injured animal.
He said since the incident the kennels had been refurbished but Short's ex-wife only had one year left on her lease for the site so the stadium would close within a year.

Short was fined £250, ordered to pay £250 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann
puppypincher@yahoo.co.uk