‘Golden opportunity’ to end greyhound racing in Wales

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greyhound racing

On 8 December, the Welsh Government has launched a new 12-week consultation that will consider the future of greyhound racing. The ‘Cut the Chase’ coalition – made up of the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Hope Rescue and Greyhound Rescue Wales – hope that the consultation could pave the way for legislation to end greyhound racing in Wales.

This would make Wales the first country in the UK to enact this ban. UK’s four nations, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., Vietnam, and Mexico are the only ten countries in the world where greyhound racing continues. Last year, a majority of Senedd Members on the Welsh Parliament’s Petitions Committee backed calls for a ban on greyhound racing.

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) track injury and retirement data, which refers to 2022 and was published in June this year, reported 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.

“Wales needs to seize this opportunity to phase out greyhound racing for good”

This number was down from 120 in 2021, and 200 in 2020. The number of greyhounds successfully retired from racing remained stable at around 95%.

While GBGB said the data showed the ” significant improvements” achieved in welfare over the past few years, the ‘Cut the Chase’ coalition argued that the reduction in track injuries was simply not enough, and that industry self-regulation is not compatible with protecting the welfare of greyhounds.

Dr Samantha Gaines, from the RSPCA, said, “As long as greyhound racing is allowed to continue in Wales, dogs are needlessly put at risk of serious injury and death all in the name of entertainment.”

greyhound eyes

“Fortunately, the launch of this consultation offers a golden opportunity for the Welsh Government to commit to phasing out greyhound racing in Wales – once and for all.

“The ‘Cut the Chase’ coalition believe the science, public opinion and animal welfare considerations all clearly demonstrate that the time has come for the Minister for Rural Affairs in Wales to act – while globally, the prevalence of greyhound racing has been in serious decline.

“Wales needs to seize this opportunity to phase out greyhound racing for good; and deliver a better life for greyhounds.”

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