Opening the debate in Westminster Hall, Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton, made it clear that the public expects high standards of animal welfare and that more needs to be done to improve the welfare of these animals.

MPs from all parties united in asking the government to make bigger strides in addressing ongoing concerns about doping, poor kennelling, the lack of data on injuries and the lack of funding from the racing industry to improve the welfare of these animals.

Responding to the debate, George Eustice, Minister of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs acknowledged that the Greyhound Board of Great Britain has failed to enforce the 2010 regulations; but went on to say that he felt the current voluntary approach was the fastest way to get the industry to make much needed changes.

Campaigners agree it’s already been a long wait. We’ve patiently called for meaningful action; an independent regulator, mandatory publication of track-level injury data, a central database for tracking dogs from birth as well as a requirement to rehome racing greyhounds. The message from the public is clear – they want the government to do more to provide a legislative framework to force the industry to reform to protect these animals. 

We’d like to thank the MPs that took part in the debate and those who said kind words about the role of animal welfare charities such as the League in raising awareness of these important animal welfare issues.

There’s strong criticism of greyhound racing around the world because of grave concerns about the welfare of the animals involved. Much of the United States, Argentina, South Africa and Jamaica have banned it. And yet in the UK, the government continues to allow the industry to self regulate. Continuing to rely on the industry to reform itself seems pointless given the lack of progress and so we’ve come to the conclusion that the greyhound racing industry should be actively phased out, leading to a ban across the UK.