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

What is wrong with greyhound racing?

greyhounds in traps

The hidden side of greyhound racing includes lonely kennels, painful injuries and often neglect. Thousands of surplus dogs die or disappear every year, yet no laws require the industry to publish these figures.

The League believes dogs should not suffer for racing industry profits. We're campaigning for tougher laws to protect them. You can help us.

Almost a decade ago, investigations by national newspapers and animal welfare organisations revealed the dreadful lives and premature deaths suffered by racing dogs; their bodies often dumped in mass graves. It was clear that cruelty, drug abuse, injury, neglect and killing were rife in greyhound racing.

Government regulations were introduced in 2010 to address these problems, but they are woefully inadequate. The League spoke out against the regulations when they were published, calling them "little more than a crook's charger". We have now produced a report demonstrating that, sadly, we were right.

Our report, The State of greyhound racing in Great Britain: a mandate for change, produced in conjunction with GREY2K USA Worldwide, shows that the life of a racing greyhound is still filled with abuse, neglect and early death, including:

  • Racing dogs spend 95% of their time in small, barren kennels without social contact. Those that are housed in pairs are kept constantly muzzled which is highly distressing for them.
  • Many are neglected and suffer fleas, worms, untreated injuries, malnutrition and dental problems. Industry sanctions against those who treat dogs in this manner are feeble and ineffectual.
  • Poorly maintained tracks and racing frequency cause painful, and often lethal, injuries such as broken backs and shattered limbs. Shockingly, the industry is allowed to keep injury records secret.
  • At least 10,000 dogs are deemed surplus to requirements every year. 8,000 are retired racers, the rest are young dogs that didn't make the grade.
  • British charities rehome many surplus dogs, but thousands are unaccounted for each year. Some are abandoned, some killed crudely, others sold for dissection.

The League is calling for immediate action to address these issues, including: an end to industry self-regulation, the mandatory publication of injury records and the creation of a central database for tracking dogs from birth, to retirement, to death. Read our full Greyhound Manifesto>>

TAKE ACTION: Please take a moment to read the results of our investigations into the greyhound racing industry and then take part in the government consultation by following this link. It won’t take more than ten minutes of your time, but you must respond before 31st December 2015.