“Over the last 5 years, I’ve learned an awful lot … and really come to appreciate the passion that people have around the sport and the love of Greyhounds.”Mark Bird, on his tenure with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain
Mark Bird traveled a different path into the sport of Greyhound racing than most. He had been around dogs all his life, including his career as a London-area police officer. When he retired in 2015, Mark applied for the role of Director of Regulation with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB). Today, he continues to use his law enforcement background in support of British Greyhound racing welfare programs.
Like Greyhound adopters around the world, Mark loves to see his own retired racer perk up at the sound of the mechanical lure on the television. He also gets to see those mechanical lures in person at any one of Great Britain’s 19 registered Greyhound tracks on his regular visits as Managing Director of the GBGB. His staff at the GBGB is responsible for site visits and inspections, publishing track injury data, and reporting on retirement data for Greyhounds.
The GBGB released the Greyhound Commitment in 2018 to promote Greyhound welfare and demonstrate that regulation is positive for the breed. Mark and his colleagues sought to shift the mindset of racing Greyhounds as commodities to that individual racers who can become future pets. Their welfare activities include regulation of track safety, veterinary care, kennel standards, etc.
In this episode, host John Parker and Mark discuss all aspects of the GBGB’s mission. Listeners who are passionate about the breed will find a kindred spirit in Mark as he shares how the GBGB regulates British Greyhound racing and promotes education about Greyhounds to the United Kingdom, Ireland and beyond.