In its response to the EFRA Committee report on greyhound welfare, published today, the government fails to make any assurances that the greyhound racing industry will be required to provide evidence of its welfare standards, address the need for regular kennel inspections or a statutory levy on the betting industry.
This lack of action comes despite the government stating in its response that: “The (greyhound) industry could and should have done more since the introduction of the 2010 Regulations to demonstrate its commitment to being an open and transparent self-regulator of the sport.”
Emily Burns-Sweeney, Director of Welfare for Forever Hounds Trust, says: “While it’s encouraging that the government does at least agree that not enough has been done to ensure the welfare of racing greyhounds, what we need to see is action in terms of amendments to the 2010 Regulations. Only once the requirements on the racing industry to publish figures for injury, euthanasia and retirement are written in to the Regulations, will we be guaranteed the transparency we need from both GBGB and independent racing tracks.”
In addition, the government response fails to agree to force the betting industry to better contribute towards the welfare of the greyhounds they profit from, instead relying on a voluntary levy to be agreed. However, the response does state that: “The government believes that the betting and greyhound industry should work together and that contributions from the betting industry should reflect the total income generated by the sport.”
Forever Hounds Trust are also disappointed at the apparent lack of commitment to ensuring the welfare of racing dogs whilst in kennels, where they spend over 90% of their lives. Emily Burns-Sweeney, Director of Welfare for Forever Hounds Trust, says: “We have to hope that the Government will address our concerns by ensuring that the measures we, other welfare organisations and EFRA have suggested will make their way in to a revised set of Regulations, so that greyhounds do not need to wait another five years to ensure their welfare is better protected.”
Read the full response from the government here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/133/133.pdf