By Emma Butler
Yesterday evening the permanent closure of greyhound racing at Poole Stadium was announced.
This marks the third greyhound racing stadium closure this year – with Peterborough and Belle Vue already having closed their doors permanently. Last week it was reported that the future of Henlow Stadium also hangs in the balance, after outline planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the area.
Greyhound racing has no place in the modern world. It is unacceptable to compromise the welfare of greyhounds in order to exploit them for money. Thousands of dogs are injured each year on greyhound tracks in the UK, and up to 1,000 deaths are recorded each year. Many more injuries and deaths go unrecorded, on unregulated tracks.
As the greyhound racing industry peters out, it is imperative that the welfare of the dogs is safeguarded. Loving forever homes must be found for those leaving the racing industry and this needs to be done by reputable rescue organisations that will carry out the required due diligence to ensure no hound will end up at risk.
As a charity dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming greyhounds and lurchers we see first hand the damage racing can do to these dogs, and are only too aware that the closure of a racetrack doesn’t necessarily mean an escape from exploitation for the greyhounds concerned. But, it is one less facility for dogs to be injured and killed, and we look forward to the day when greyhound racing is completely consigned to the past.