Having issued a joint call for greyhound racing to be phased out in the UK last year, three of the country’s largest animal charities – Dogs Trust, the RSPCA and Blue Cross – are once again calling for the end of greyhound racing, following the publication of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) track injury and retirement data.
The data, which refers to 2022, reports a total of 4,354 sustained on track by racing greyhounds. Over a total of 306 deaths for various causes, 99 were registered as ‘track fatalities’ – with greyhounds put to sleep at the racecourse on humane grounds. This number is down from 120 in 2021, and 200 in 2020. The number of greyhounds successfully retired from racing has remained stable at around 95%.
“This data once again demonstrates the significant improvements we have achieved in welfare over the past few years”
Mark Bird, Chief Executive of GBGB, said, “This data once again demonstrates the significant improvements we have achieved in welfare over the past few years. It shows that the approach licensed racing is taking is the right one and demonstrates our ongoing to commitment to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our racing greyhounds.
“Over the past year, we have begun the roll-out of our ambitious welfare strategy and it is fantastic that a number of initiatives are already underway and delivering benefits – particularly around our enhanced veterinary resources.”
He added, “I would like to thank everyone across the sport who has supported our strategy and has played their part in its implementation. We are whole-heartedly committed to raising standards further and I have every confidence that we will continue to do so.”
The RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross – who joined forces as the Cut the Chase Coalition – are however arguing that the improvements made are simply not enough, and that greyhound racing is “inherently dangerous”.
“It is unacceptable that so many greyhounds died or were put to sleep over the last 12 months, and many more injured, all in the name of entertainment”
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, said, “The release of these new stats highlights further why greyhound racing must come to an end in the UK as quickly as possible. It is unacceptable that so many greyhounds died or were put to sleep over the last 12 months, and many more injured, all in the name of entertainment.
“While GBGB will argue that the number of deaths and injuries has been reduced, it is not enough; one death or serious injury is one too many. For those lucky enough not to lose their lives through racing, many instead face being housed in poor conditions, with little or no enrichment.
“Greyhound racing must come to an end as quickly as possible to stop these completely avoidable deaths and serious injuries. We remain committed to protecting the welfare of these dogs until this happens.”