Greyhound racing ban reaches parliamentary debate | Politics | News

The debate was given the green light after a petition calling for a ban received nearly 105,000 signatures. Opponents of the sport say greyhounds endure ‘inevitable suffering’ and are forced to race for ‘global betting markets’. The Alliance Against Greyhound Racing (AARG), which organized the petition, claims that “negotiating tight corners at high speed puts enormous strain on their limbs, resulting in fractures and tears of tendons and ligaments” and states that ” fractures are so specific to greyhound racing that they are rarely seen in other breeds of dogs.”

The AARG argues the time is right for a full ban, saying: “No amount of welfare adjustment can change the reality of greyhound injuries – nor the fact that dogs as young as two or three years old are routinely dumped by industry every year to face uncertain future.The British public has had enough.

“This debate is an unprecedented opportunity to examine why an outdated activity like dog racing – now legal only in a handful of countries – no longer has a place in a modern animal-loving society like Britain’s. .”

However, Mark Bird, chief executive of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), which regulates licensed greyhound racing, insisted the welfare of the dogs was “absolutely paramount”.

He said: “Any sort of ban on licensed greyhound racing would have devastating economic, social and animal welfare consequences. Through the loss of thousands of jobs, a ban would cause immense economic damage to parts of the country already associated with social deprivation and unemployment. But, most concerning, there would be a significant welfare crisis in terms of housing thousands of greyhounds.

The council says the UK greyhound industry has an estimated turnover of £2.6billion and employs over 7,000 people across the country. It says the number of greyhounds asleep in the sport fell from 710 in 2019 to 411 in 2020 (including sudden/natural deaths), with injuries rising from 4,970 to 3,575.

Highlighting the board’s Greyhound Retirement Scheme – which “aims to ensure that the financial costs of bringing in a retired greyhound are covered before their racing career even begins” – Mr Bird said said: “In 18 months, over £2million has been donated through the scheme benefiting over 5,000 greyhounds.

However, groups around the world want the sport to end in the UK.

Christine A Dorchak, group president of GREY2K USA Worldwide, said: “Public opinion has turned against this outdated form of entertainment, and since 2001, 44 US facilities have closed – dog racing will soon end entirely. in the country of origin.”

A spokeswoman for the International Organization for Animal Welfare, headquartered in Italy, said: “Ghounds are shamelessly bred and exploited for the sole purpose of betting on their lives… They are human beings. sensitive and this industry must stop.

The UK Kennel Club is pushing for a ‘radical overhaul of the industry’ and has argued for a ‘mandatory government sport tax’ to ensure greyhounds get the care they need during their racing lives and when they are relocated.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said there ‘remain significant welfare issues which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the welfare of greyhounds is adequately protected. “, adding: “Alongside the Dogs Trust, we have recently commissioned a review of the welfare of racing greyhounds in the UK which will report in the first half of 2022. The review is being undertaken by an independent agency , with input from independent animal welfare experts, which will allow us to take an evidence-based position.

“The results will shape the future policy of each organization.”

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