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We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport

Greyhound welfare report on right track but does not go far enough says League Chief Executive

25 February 2016

greyhound faceReacting to the EFRA Committee’s report on greyhound welfare, League Against Cruel Sports CEO Eduardo Gonçalves said:   “This report is on the right track but we urge the Government to take these recommendations only as a starting point.   Defra needs to build on this and go even further to ensure greyhounds are protected.

There are huge concerns about greyhound welfare that need to be addressed. Many of the dogs suffer a hard and lonely life, forced to train on treadmills and kept apart from other dogs. According to the industry’s own figures, over 2000 dogs were injured in the last three recorded years, and over 1000 were euthanised.  Is anyone watching closely enough to ensure that these figures are accurate, and that the dogs are being treated respectfully? Do the report’s recommendations go far enough to solve these problems? We think there’s some way to go.

“It is shocking that the industry has been able to hide injury and euthanasia information for so long.  So the Committee's call for transparency on injury, mortality and rehoming data is welcomed, though the Government will need to ensure this extends to track level. Similarly we welcome a statutory levy on bookmakers to ensure more money goes to greyhound welfare, and it is right that the Committee calls for greyhound protection to be extended from tracks to trainers’ kennels.

“It’s good that the need for independent regulation is considered, but why a 2-year probationary period for the industry as greyhounds continue to suffer? We remain convinced that given the industry's abysmal track record, only independent regulation will ensure greyhound welfare is protected.

“And while lip service has been paid to our call for statutory rehoming, this problem is huge and needs addressing urgently.  This isn't an issue just for the tracks - all those involved in the industry from trainers to owners should have a duty to ensure no greyhound is killed off at the end of their racing career. In addition, licensing for breeders is vital if we are to reduce the number of surplus, unwanted dogs.

“Finally, microchipping isn’t a magic bullet as we know that cheating the system is prevalent.  We urge the Government to introduce greyhound passports to ensure these dogs can be tracked from cradle to grave.

“We commend the Committee for their attention given to this important issue, and their recognition that there are many problems that need to be addressed.  We call upon the Government to be bold in ensuring the changes that are needed to protect greyhounds are introduced.”

Read the League's report on the state of greyhound racing in Great Britain >> Click here

 

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Comments (4)

  • Laura Slade

    26 February 2016, 8:36pm

    I submitted evidence to the EFRA committee of how the GBGB lied & bullied a rescue. I can't believe the report makes such lame recommendations. The government doesn't want to spend public money on independent regulation but that money would come from tax income from the betting industry - so they are earning tax revenue whilst refusing to take responsibility for the injured & dead dogs who generate that income - it's unacceptable. What do the League propose to do next?

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  • Laura Slade

    8 March 2016, 5:25pm

    On your page http://www.league.org.uk/.../racing.../racing-animals-faqs you state "The government has committed to a review of the regulations governing greyhound welfare in 2015 and we are urging them to demand fundamental changes to industry practice. If this review does not result in meaningful change for racing greyhounds, we will call for a ban." So are you going to now call for a ban?

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  • Alison Ling

    8 March 2016, 5:28pm

    A good start but the EFRA report does not yet advocate independent regulation and gives the GBGB a 2 year reprieve. The lack of transparency in this industry is the main reason it's still not considered as abhorrent as fox hunting. If we did know how many overbred slow puppies are killed, how many dogs with treatable track injuries are PTS and how many greyhounds are euthanised on economic grounds at retirement, then surely public opinion would radically shift in favour of a ban. The government doesn't want to spend public money on independent regulation but that money would come from tax income from the betting industry - so they are earning tax revenue whilst refusing to take responsibility for the injured & dead dogs who generate that income - it's unacceptable. What do the League propose to do next?

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  • L Slade

    9 March 2016, 9:44pm

    A good start but the EFRA report does not yet advocate independent regulation and gives the GBGB a 2 year reprieve. The lack of transparency in this industry is the only reason it's still not considered as abhorrent as fox hunting. If we did know how many overbred slow puppies are killed, how many dogs with treatable track injuries are PTS and how many greyhounds are euthanised on economic grounds at retirement, then public opinion would radically shift in favour of a ban. The government doesn't want to spend public money on independent regulation but that money would come from tax income from the betting industry - so they are earning tax revenue whilst refusing to take responsibility for the injured & dead dogs who generate that income - it's unacceptable. What do the League propose to do next?

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