By Emma Butler
2019 is a year that has seen great leaps forward in dog welfare. It was announced that Lucy’s Law will come into force next Spring, banning the third-party sale of puppies and kittens; and Finn’s Law came into force earlier this month, giving greater protection to service animals.
However, with the latest injury and retirement data from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) being released, we can say that these improvements in dog welfare have not extended to racing greyhounds.
Dogs are still suffering injuries, some of which prove fatal, on racetracks around the UK.
This comes as no surprise to those of us working in greyhound rescue and rehoming. Some of those greyhounds that are injured during their racing career are fortunate enough to find their way to us, and we pick up the pieces, cover the veterinary and kennelling fees and ensure the dogs are found their forever home where they can live out their lives as much loved pets.
But we question how this can still be allowed to happen in 2019? In a year when we are more aware than ever of animal welfare. The figures sadly show us that too many dogs are not making it out of the racing industry alive.
The latest GBGB figures tell us that, in 2018:
- 175 greyhounds died because of the cost of treatment to fix them
- 149 died because there was no viable option for them away from the racetrack, or because no home could be found for them
- 190 died because they were designated as unsuitable for homing
- 72 suffered a sudden death
- 242 are listed as having died on ‘Humane Grounds at Racecourse’
- A further 104 died of terminal illness or natural causes