Irish greyhound “exposed to unnecessary suffering”

4 Nov

laughil roxy exposed to unnecessary suffering copy

An Irish greyhound was “exposed to unnecessary suffering and potentially to serious injury and distress”, a disturbing new report reveals.

The 4th November 2022 edition of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s “Calendar” publication provides details about an 18th October 2022 Disciplinary Committee Inquiry at which greyhound trainer Ms Joanne Robinson was “found in breach of rules 152(i) and (ii) and 174 (xi) of the GBGB Rules of Racing in that she treated or caused the greyhound Laughil Roxy to be treated in a manner likely to cause the greyhound unnecessary suffering.”

The Committee heard that on 5 October 2021, Laughil Roxy was used in a trial at Kinsley Stadium in the UK during which she “sustained a sudden onset right hind limb lameness” and had to be carried away. A track vet diagnosed a marked instability in the right hock and believed advised that there was probably a fracture and that x-rays were needed for a full diagnosis and more accurate prognosis.

Also in the vet’s room was the coordination officer of the Kinsley Hock and Long Bone Scheme (KHLBS) – a rehoming scheme which covers the costs of treating injured greyhounds, on the condition that they must no longer be used in racing or breeding.

According to the GBGB report, “during the examination, [trainer] Ms Robinson told the vet, Sophie Widdowson, that Laughil Roxy had run badly and would be returning to Ireland”.

The vet said she had “made it very clear to Ms Robinson that the dog could not be transported to Ireland with the injury under examination” and that “it was agreed that the greyhound would be transported to a vet for radiography and treatment under the KHLBS.”

The vet applied temporary support bandaging and injected the greyhound with painkiller. She issued a Transport Certificate to Ms Robinson that advised that further pain relief was required within 24 hours and that x-rays and further evaluation by a vet were required within 48 hours.

The vet said she ticked the “follow up required“ box on the certificate because she was concerned that despite her advice, the dog would be transported to Ireland before treatment.

When informed that Ms Robinson’s father had phoned asking that the dog be taken to their own vet, because they did not want the dog retired and rehomed under the KHLBS scheme. the vet “reiterated that the dog could not be transported to Ireland before further veterinary attention”.

“The Committee heard that Ms Robinson did not take Laughil Roxy to a vet,” the inquiry report stated.

She gave evidence that when the greyhound was with the vet, she had phoned her father because she knew that under an arrangement between her and her father with a Kevin Losty, who had supplied them with Laughil Roxy, the dog could not be re-homed but had to be sent back to Ireland.

She said she had checked by phone with her father if the dog could be treated under the KHLBS scheme and her father confirmed that the dog had to be sent back to Mr Losty to be treated by his vet in Ireland and then used for breeding.

Robinson told the Committee that since becoming a trainer 6 or 7 years previously, she and her father had received dozens of greyhounds from Mr Losty in Ireland. She said that some of the greyhounds had been bought, while others, including Laughil Roxy “were in effect supplied on loan and, if they did not race or stopped racing, they had to be transported back to Mr Losty”.

She went on to say that she took Laughil Roxy from the track to her kennels and that, on the following day, 6 October 2021, her father had inspected the injury, removed the bandaging, replaced it with cotton wool and elasticated bandage and gave the dog a painkiller.

The day after that, she met with a Northern Irish transporter frequently used by Mr Losty and handed over the greyhound for transport back to Ireland.

The Committee heard that inquiries by the GBGB had established that the greyhound was not taken to a vet in Ireland until 12 October 2021 – a full week after the injury was sustained. Laughil Roxy “was diagnosed as having sustained a comminuted hock fracture with a subsequent collapse of the fractured bone and was euthanased”.

Ms Robinson told the Committee that “she had felt she had no choice but to comply with what her father and Mr Losty were telling her to do” and that “she had believed the dog had sustained only a minor injury and she would never have knowingly caused it to suffer or be neglected”. She said she was extremely sorry that the greyhound had not been treated sooner and had been euthanised.

The Committee “accepted Ms Robinson had no intention of exposing Laughil Roxy to suffering or harm” but found that she “had been guilty of a serious dereliction of her duties as a professional trainer”, adding that “she had recklessly gone against the repeated professional advice of the track vet and allowed the greyhound to travel without qualified, competent examination and treatment.”

“There had been no good reason why, if she could not or would not use the KLBHS to care for the greyhound, it could not have been sent for x-ray and necessary treatment before being transported to Ireland,” the report continued. “It was simply that neither she nor anyone else responsible for Laughil Roxy had been willing to meet the cost.”

“It was clear the dog was exposed to unnecessary suffering and potentially to serious injury and distress,” the Committee concluded. “Although it was accepted Ms Robinson did not anticipate that Laughil Roxy would not be seen by a vet until 7 days after being injured nor that the dog would then be euthanased, those unfortunate events would not have happened without her reckless breach of her duty of care as a professional trainer.”

The Committee ordered that she be disqualified for three years (suspended for three years) and she was fined £3,000.

The Greyhound Racing Ireland website shows that Laughil Roxy was born on 11th June 2018. Before ending up in the UK, she was trialled at Longford, Kilkenny, Galway and Newbridge tracks up to 20 August 2021 and used in races at Thurles and Limerick tracks.

Read the full Disciplinary Committee report at

Earlier this year, it emerged that another Irish greyhound who was used at Kinsley track was later found dead in a canal. BBC News reported that “a dog tied to a sandbag was found dead in an East Yorkshire canal….The female greyhound was recovered from Beverley Beck by a local animal volunteer, the RSPCA said. A length of rope connected the dog’s neck and the weight.” Read more at


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