Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, enthusiastically welcomes the recommendations outlined in the report of the EFRA committee’s inquiry as a positive step forward for Greyhound welfare. In light of the popularity of the sport and the significant turnover it generates the charity welcome the report’s onus on bookmakers who profit from greyhound racing to contribute financially to improving welfare standards. Currently some, but not all, bookmakers pay a voluntary levy for greyhound welfare and so we welcome the recommendation for this levy to be made statutory. Fortunately, EFRA have also echoed Dogs Trust’s own concerns surrounding the self-regulation of the industry and recommended a probationary period of two years continued self-regulation

Dogs Trust is strongly in favour of the recommendation that the regulations are amended to require the publication of essential welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming. We believe that approximately 3,500 greyhounds are unaccounted for every year in the UK, but as statistics are not published by the industry the true scale of the problem is difficult to assess. Dogs Trust took in 200 ex racing Greyhounds in 2015 - we have capacity to rehome many more and know the dogs are out there but we need them to be made available to us by the industry for rehoming.

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, explains: “In June 2015, Dogs Trust published the findings of an in-depth three month investigation into the conditions of greyhound training kennels in the UK, where greyhounds spend approximately 95% of their time - yet which are not covered by current regulations. The investigation provided stark evidence that the existing 2010 regulations do not go far enough to address welfare concerns. We are therefore delighted to see the report’s recommendation that the regulations should be extended to cover trainer’s kennels.”

Paula adds “A review of this legislation is long overdue - Dogs Trust sincerely hopes that DEFRA will heed these recommendations as the report heralds promising changes which could bring about much needed welfare improvements in the industry.”

Please visit https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/whats-happening/issues-campaigns/greyhounds/greyhound%202015.pdf  to view the Dogs Trust report. To rehome an ex-racing Greyhound please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk