Dogs Trust has welcomed today’s launch of a consultation into the future of greyhound racing in Scotland.
Since 2018, over more than 2,200 greyhounds died or were put to sleep because of racing on licensed tracks around the UK and over 22,000 injuries recorded. These figures do not include those who have died or were injured while racing on independent tracks.
Dogs Trust and other animal welfare organisations including RSPCA, Blue Cross, Scottish SPCA, and One Kind have called for an end to greyhound racing in Scotland to stop the unnecessary and completely preventable deaths of many of dogs every year.
Earlier this year, Mark Ruskell MSP proposed a Member’s Bill that, if introduced, would make it illegal to race greyhounds in Scotland. The consultation launched today outlines the proposals to phase out greyhound racing by the time the proposed Bill would come into force, which is likely to be a period of over 12 months.
In 2023, the Scottish Government consulted on licencing greyhound tracks. Following the consultation, it concluded that that was is a strong case for the introduction of a statutory licensing scheme for greyhound racing in Scotland.
However, Dogs Trust, along with many other organisations, does not believe that licencing tracks goes far enough to protect the welfare of the dogs involved in racing and instead wants to see greyhound racing come to an end.
Owen Sharp, chief executive at Dogs Trust, said: “We welcome this consultation on the future of greyhound racing in Scotland and appreciate the efforts of MSPs like Mark Ruskell who are working hard to bring it to an end.
“It is simply not acceptable that across the UK, more than 2,2000 greyhounds have died or were put to sleep since 2018, and more than 22,000 injuries recorded, all in the name of entertainment.
“We worked with the greyhound industry for many years to try to improve the welfare of dogs involved in greyhound racing. However, it’s clear that progress has not been made quickly enough, or on a big enough scale to have any impact, and industry is a long way from ensuring the welfare of all the dogs involved.
“Therefore, we believe the only option is to bring greyhound racing to a complete stop in Scotland and across the UK.”