Greyhounds found in appalling condition


We urgently need your help to ensure the welfare of a large number of greyhounds kept in appalling conditions at ZigZag stud and puppy farm on the outskirts of Lincoln.  Please click here to view the extensive and very disturbing evidence.

The farm is owned by Charles Pickering who was first exposed in 2008 by the Sunday Times for selling puppies to Liverpool University for research and dissection.
Since then, many supporters have devoted much time and effort trying to encourage Mr Pickering to surrender his dogs for re-homing, whilst campaigners have tried to apply pressure on the local authority – West Lindsey Council – to use their powers to either force Mr Pickering to comply with the law or to close him down.  In short – the council have done nothing and as a consequence, greyhounds bred to supply a highly commercial industry or for research and dissection are continuing to suffer in dreadful conditions.

Unlike trainers kennels who are regulated by the GBGB, it is the council's responsibility to ensure compliance with both UK Breeding Establishment legislation and associated EU law but officers at West Lindsey District Council appear to be in conflict over which department should take responsibility for enforcement.
Although the council’s planning department has confirmed Mr Pickering has not had planning permission to operate as a Breeding Establishment since his initial application expired in 2008, the licensing department has been unable to confirm whether Mr Pickering still holds a license to breed. What is clear is that the council has in the past and as recent as last year, granted Mr Pickering a breeder’s license fully in the knowledge he was not complying with relevant planning law.

Despite the fact that Mr Pickering’s premises are not licensed by the GBGB, his kennels will have been visited many times by the GBGB earmarking stewards and Mr Pickering still currently owns a number of dogs that have raced and dogs still eligible to race on GBGB tracks, which means he has to comply with the Rules of Racing.
The industry’s governing body have previously disciplined and ‘warned off’ owners similar to Mr Pickering, for breaches of Rule 18 and disciplined unlicensed people - David Smith of Seaham for the slaughtering of 1,000’s of dogs and more recently the Freeman’s whose license had expired.
At least 25% of the dogs re-homed by the industry’s Retired Greyhound Trust have never raced on licensed tracks – wont chase or too slow and the RGT have also be known in the past to re-home stud dogs and brood females.
Regardless – Mr Pickering is the largest racing greyhound breeder in the country has supplied 1,000’s of dogs to the industry and as such, the industry should accept some responsibility for the welfare of these greyhounds and Mr Pickering's actions as an owner.

In a statement to the Sunday Express, Mr Pickering claims the RSPCA made unannounced visits to the farm and found the condition of the dogs to be of the ‘highest order’. From the evidence provided from the investigators – this clearly is not the case.
The Member of Parliament for the area is Edward Leigh who signed an Early Day Motion in March of this year on the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds.
Please write to West Lindsey District councillors, the RSPCA, Edward Leigh, the GBGB and also the local media requesting they investigate this appalling situation and help to ensure the welfare of these greyhounds as a matter of urgency.
Please remember to enclose these links in support of your request and please remember to keep all correspondence polite.

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