Concerns are being raised for the welfare of greyhounds being raced at tracks across Britain despite soaring temperatures and the country experiencing the hottest day of the year.

Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports and the greyhound welfare group Greyt Exploitations have joined forces to highlight that greyhounds are being raced at 20 tracks over the next couple of days.

The extreme conditions the dogs are raced in put them in danger of heatstroke and fly in the face of all the advice being given to animal lovers caring for their own pets during the current heatwave.

Following public pressure on July 2, the Greyhound Board Great Britain (GBGB) – the self-regulatory body for greyhound racing – issued a hot weather advice note to all tracks. However, the GBGB has made it clear that this is just advice, and the final decision is with the tracks, with many ignoring the warning without fear of being disciplined, leaving the dogs to suffer in this summer heat.

Nick Weston, Head of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“This is a clear case of putting cash before care. Any dog owner will know this has been a particularly difficult summer, with man’s best friends struggling to regulate their temperature in this heat – to make greyhounds race in soaring temperatures goes beyond the pale. The GBGB has offered hot weather advice, but has not gone far enough. Why are there no rules to put the best interest of the animals first and put a cap on the temperature in which dogs are forced to race? If the GBGB is not able to protect racing greyhounds, then it is not fit for purpose – that is, unless its real purpose is to protect profits.”

Trudy Baker, Coordinator at Greyt Exploitations, said:

“The Greyhound Board of Great Britain has consistently failed to introduce Rules of Racing that would make it an offence to transport – parade and race greyhounds within a normal range of temperatures. Tragically there is only a requirement – under the 2010 Greyhound Welfare Regulations – for tracks to have kennels for just 20 per cent of the greyhounds racing at any one meeting – leaving dogs in stationary trainer’s vehicles during extreme temperatures – both hot and cold.

“It's time the Government appointed an independent authority to enforce the Animal Welfare Act as regards racing greyhounds and give them the protection they deserve and have earned through the millions of pounds revenue generated for the Government and millions more profit for the gambling industry.”

 

The greyhound industry

Greyhound racing in the UK sees approximately 15,000 greyhounds being kept for racing at any one time.

The greyhound industry figures show that more than 1,000 greyhounds died last year. Many were put down trackside due to injuries.

Greyhounds stop racing at around three years old and many are put down as they are deemed as no longer valuable.

Injuries are frequent – industry figures show there were a staggering 4,837 injuries in 2017

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

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).