Greyhound slaughter must be controlled, say author Jilly Cooper and actress Annette Crosbie, as they head to No.10 today to campaign for better greyhound welfare standards.

The League Against Cruel Sports claims that thousands of retired dogs are killed needlessly each year. In a statement, Louise Clark of the League said: ‘At the moment it is self-regulating and we worry that their interest is in covering up scandalous treatment of greyhounds.’

Actress Annette Crosbie said: ‘It will cost the government nothing to set welfare standards for this industry. To do nothing is indefensible and simply unacceptable.’

In 2006, a Sunday Times investigation revealed that David Smith, 57, a builders’ merchant in Seaham, County Durham, had killed and disposed of more than 10,000 dogs, for a fee of £10 per dog. He was fined £2,000.

The National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) has rules stating that all retired dogs should become pets or sent to retirement homes.

Jilly Cooper and Annette Crosbie will ask the government to consider new anti-cruelty measures for greyhounds when they visit No.10 later today.

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