Forever Hounds Trust is delighted at the news today from Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross and the RSPCA, who have announced that they are calling for a phasing out of greyhound racing.
This significant change of policy comes as a result of an independent review carried out by all three charities into the welfare of greyhounds, the outcome of which makes for bleak reading. You can learn more about how the respective charities reached their decision by visiting their individual websites, but the key findings of the review are outlined below –
Following extensive reviews by each organisation, we have identified significant issues associated with the industry which detrimentally affect welfare. These include:
- Serious challenges for greyhound physical and mental health at all stages of their racing career. For example, some of the dogs used in racing are kept in poor, barren conditions, with little if any enrichment and fed a poor diet.
- Greyhound racing is inherently dangerous for the dogs involved. Running at speed around oval tracks causes significant injury to many dogs, and in some cases the injuries are so severe that it is necessary to euthanise the dog. The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is the self-regulating organisation that governs licensed greyhound racing in Great Britain. Data from GBGB show that over 2,000 greyhounds died and nearly 18,000 injuries were recorded from greyhound racing between 2018 and 2021, with additional dogs injured on independent tracks.
- Disjointed and ineffective regulation within the sector and across the different nations within which racing takes place
- A lack of transparency regarding industry practices and enforcement of regulatory standards, including records of racetrack injuries to greyhounds and checks for banned substances.
Based on our reviews, we now believe it is time to call for an end to greyhound racing. We are specifically calling for a phased approach rather than an immediate ban so that we can carefully plan and coordinate the care of the many dogs who will be affected. We expect that this will be feasible within five years.
Our change in policy is with immediate effect. We have debated long and hard, weighed up pros and cons, listened to and been driven by evidence. We all feel that the phasing out of greyhound racing is the only way to safeguard greyhound welfare but we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure every dog has a good life.
Representatives from Forever Hounds Trust, together with other stakeholders, were invited to give evidence as part of this extensive review. This was based on our first-hand experience of rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing greyhounds. We were pleased to be able to provide tangible and credible evidence to inform the review process.
In 2018 Forever Hounds Trust issued a position statement calling for an end to greyhound racing in the UK, and we remain as committed to that statement today as we were then. You can read more about our position on greyhound racing here https://foreverhoundstrust.org/position-on-greyhound-racing/
We wholeheartedly support the findings of the review and applaud our fellow charities at Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and RSPCA for taking this positive commitment to bring about the end of greyhound racing.
Today is a significant milestone for greyhound welfare, and we are stronger together.