Calls for greyhound racing to be banned as petition reaches 100,000
Animal welfare campaigners are calling for a parliamentary debate on greyhound racing after a petition on the UK parliament website calling for it to be banned reached over 100,000 signatures today.
Figures from the greyhound industry’s Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) showed 4,970 injuries and 710 deaths – 14 deaths a week – in 2019 alone.
The petition calls on the government to introduce legislation that abolishes greyhound racing via a managed shutdown of activities that ensures the welfare of the redundant dogs through a levy on the industry.
Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The people have spoken – greyhound racing is inherently cruel and must be banned. Now that the 100,000 signature threshold has been reached we urge the government to hold a debate about finally stopping this cruel practice as soon as possible.
“Greyhounds race on dangerously configured tracks, in adverse weather conditions and are housed in kennels that have not been independently inspected. Every year hundreds die and thousands are injured– it’s time for greyhound racing to be banned.”
Trudy Baker, founder of Greyt Exploitations, said: “Both Government and the industry insist that more money is needed from the bookmakers to improve the welfare of racing greyhounds, but more money will only fund the inevitable injuries and deaths. A ban to end the needless suffering and deaths of thousands of greyhounds every year is the only option.”
In 2018 Greyt Exploitations commissioned a report by Professor Andrew Knight called Injuries in Racing Greyhounds, which evidences that racing greyhounds on oval tracks will always result in fatal injuries.
Trudy added: “The GBGB is fully aware of the research and the exact cause of injuries but has shown a determined resistance to publicly acknowledge those important issues – let alone address them, which is why injuries have gradually increased since records began three years ago.
“No amount of ineffective ‘window dressing’ welfare commitments will address the suffering and deaths of thousands of puppies and adult dogs racing on the dangerously configured tracks.
“Thousands of puppies bred for British Racing go unaccounted for each year – the true scale will never be known because of the industry's lack of transparency.”
Notes to Editors
The average age of a racing greyhound is just two to three years old.
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The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).