Welfare

Forever Hounds Trust is passionate about improving the welfare of all racing greyhounds and believe that this can be best achieved by working with the parties that have a direct effect on the daily lives of these graceful and gentle dogs.

UK Greyhound Forum

We are welfare members of the UK Greyhound Forum, chaired by Clarissa Baldwin CBE, and play an active role in addressing greyhound welfare issues directly with the racing industry.

In November 2015, we were the only independent rescue organisation to be asked to give oral evidence at the Houses of Parliament for the EFRA (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) sub-committee inquiry in to the welfare of racing greyhounds. Much of our evidence was used to direct the outcome of this inquiry and the subsequent EFRA report strongly recommended that the industry make significant improvements in a number of key areas or face a review of their self-regulation status. Read more about our experience of giving evidence here.

Our dedication to greyhound welfare extends past our own shores. Alongside fellow rescues and welfare members on the UK Greyhound Forum, we are working to address issues which affect all racing greyhounds – read more here.

The Government have made it clear that no plans exist to ban greyhound racing. Ultimately Forever Hounds Trust want to see regulation of the greyhound industry with better welfare provision for all dogs, before they get to the track, when they are racing and when they are retired and we will work tirelessly to achieve this goal for every dog involved in the sport, whilst it exists.

Welfare report

You can read more about the recent EFRA enquiry into greyhound racing here.

Greyhound injury statistics

In March 2018, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, of which Forever Hounds Trust is a member,  announced the long awaited statistics on both injuries sustained by Greyhounds on the track and the fates of Greyhounds on retirement.

The data reveals that over 1,000 greyhounds were put to sleep in 2017, for reasons including the cost of their veterinary treatment. GBGB have announced they are developing a plan aimed at making improvements to the welfare of greyhounds, on and off the track.

In response, Clarissa Baldwin Chairman of the Greyhound Forum stated; “The statistics show that a great deal of work needs to be done to bring the Greyhound industry into the 21st Century. The Forum is now calling for a radical review of the Industry from breeding, ownership, kennels, training, retirement and funding. With the veterinary advancements of today’s world, it is totally unacceptable to euthanise dogs purely on economic grounds. It’s also very worrying that dogs put to sleep are often simply discarded based on cost alone.”

Clarissa added, “Whilst the Greyhound Board of Great Britain should have done more to improve the lives of retired greyhounds before the Government and welfare charities demanded more transparency, the main culprits are the Bookmakers – many of whom pay nothing to the voluntary levy. They should be made to stand up to their moral and ethical obligation to pay back to the Industry some of the estimated £237,000,000 profit that they make so that the nation’s Greyhounds can be better protected in the future.”

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity added; “The publication of this data is a welcome first step towards bringing transparency to the greyhound industry, but it’s clear that the industry is overdue for a radical review to ensure the issues raised are properly dealt with. We are pleased that the Greyhound Board of Great Britain has used the data as a springboard to introduce a plan to tackle the longstanding welfare issues associated with greyhound racing. Another challenge at present is that there is no requirement for independent tracks to publish their data and so we simply don’t know how they compare to GBGB tracks in terms of injuries and euthanasia. The statistics show there is much to be done to reduce the number of dogs being put to sleep for economic and behavioural reasons and we look forward to working with GBGB to improve the outlook for all racing greyhounds, and also to improve injury rates, in the future.”

Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare

To find out more about greyhound welfare click here, and for lurcher welfare click here.

Our euthanasia policy

Forever Hounds Trust will never to put a healthy dog to sleep. Euthanasia is only ever considered in cases of physical ill-health (under vet advice), on welfare grounds, or if the dog poses a significant danger to humans or other dogs.