On Tuesday 30th October, representatives from Forever Hounds Trust attended the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) meeting in London. The meeting focused on “Greyhound Racing in the UK – An Update on Welfare” and had a panel of speakers, including Mark Bird from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), Clarissa Baldwin, chair of the Greyhound Forum, Trudy Baker from Greyt Exploitations, Andrew Knight – Professor of Animal Welfare & Ethics, Winchester University, and Nick Weston from League Against Cruel Sports.
The meeting was expertly chaired by two MPs – Andrea Jenkyns and Anna Turley – and well attended by greyhound advocates. All speakers spoke passionately about greyhounds and there was a robust Q&A session at the conclusion of all presentations. With most of the questions directed to GBGB about injury statistics, data on euthanasia and their recently published Greyhound Commitment.
We asked a question concerning the welfare of greyhounds in racing kennels, focusing on their psychological well-being and the importance of appropriate socialisation and habituation, and how behaviour assessments were going to be carried out, and there is clearly a lot of work to be undertaken in this area.
The meeting was one of the first public meetings where such important welfare issues were discussed and debated with representatives from the racing industry, greyhound advocates, and rehoming/rescue charities. We hope that it marks the beginning of positive change for the welfare of greyhounds in racing kennels.