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The British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF) had aimed to raise an extra million pounds a year to help pay for its work in supporting the welfare of the much-loved animals.

It has now emerged that BGC members BetVictor, Kindred, 888 and Betway have agreed to contribute to the fund, meaning the target will be reached.

As part of a memorandum of understanding signed by the four operators, the BGRF will ensure the extra funding is directed wholly towards welfare and integrity projects.

It means that every BGC member who offers bets on greyhound racing is now contributing to the Fund.

Working with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, each year the Fund spends around half of its revenue on animal welfare schemes, and during the pandemic it has made an additional £600,000 available in this area.

The Fund also supports the Greyhound Retirement Scheme, which ensures that the animals can be taken in by a variety of approved homing organisations when their racing career ends.

Joe Scanlon, chairman of the British Greyhound Racing Fund, said: “It’s fantastic news for the whole of the greyhound industry that all of the Betting and Gaming Council members who offer bets on greyhound racing, both in retail and online, are now supporting the Fund.

“Once the country returns to normality, this added funding will result in a huge boost to the welfare of racing greyhounds. Despite all the challenges of the past 12 months we’re feeling positive about the future of this excellent sport.”

Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said: “Watching greyhound racing is part of our culture and social fabric that has been closed over the last year. It is vitally important that 100 per cent of members of the BGC who benefit from income from greyhound racing also support the industry, and in particular dog welfare, whilst racing and when the dogs retire.

“I am delighted that our members have stepped up their financial support and the BGC will remain keen supporters of BGRF and the many charities it supports.”