Friday, 2 October 2009

Greyhound Campaign update: proposed welfare regulations a 'whitewash'

In July, I blogged about Dogs Trust's Greyhound campaign, which asked everyone to urge the Government to go further in protecting the welfare of these beautiful dogs from cradle to grave. A consultation on the proposed regulations garnered critical responses from dog and animal welfare groups and scores of letters were written to MPs by supporters. Today the Government has released the proposed regulations - and they're a disappointment. Here's our statement:

After 15 years of promises and talks, today’s release of the Government’s proposed Regulations into Greyhound Racing have been branded a whitewash by Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity.

The charity is appalled that the Government has decided to restrict Greyhound welfare provisions to just trackside activity – thereby condemning thousands of dogs to a life of misery and in some cases an early death. Out of the 159 responses to the consultation statement: ‘do you agree that the licensing conditions should only apply where greyhounds are being raced or trialled’, 141 respondents disagreed.

The proposed Regulations do not extend to training or breeding kennels despite the fact this is where racing Greyhounds spend 90 per cent of their lives. These out of sight premises will continue to elude welfare scrutiny.

A Greyhound’s racing career spans just three to four years out of a life expectancy of upwards of twelve years. The proposed Regulations will have no significant impact on the fate of retired racing greyhounds or the young dogs who never reach the track.

For many years Dogs Trust has campaigned and provided clear guidance to the Government about the need for effective legislation to protect Greyhounds from cradle to grave. Ultimately this means statutory regulation of the industry and the creation of one centralised database upon which all dogs bred for the sport can be tracked. The proposed Regulations fail to deliver these methods of protection.

Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust and Chairman of the Greyhound Forum comments:

“Successive Ministers have pledged their support to safeguarding the welfare of racing Greyhounds. Successive Ministers have let these animals down. Today’s Regulations represent a missed opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of dogs and represent the views of Parliamentarians, welfare groups and members of the general public. Dogs Trust is calling for the Government to understand the strength of public feeling about this issue and extend these regulations immediately.”


Di Holder said...

I recently wrote to my local M.P his reply was 'my comments have been noted and I can assure you that I will bear you views in mind when this issue comes before Parliament in the future' his letter dated 22.9.09 and he goes on to say 'I would be happy to receive any further concerns you may have in writing. I will not let this matter end there and am investing further

Dogs Trust said...

Hello Di,

Thank you for letting us know about your experience, and for your continued support. It is a disappointing day, but we'll keep campaigning!

Nicola said...

This is more than a dissapointment it is a disgrace.

You only need to visit the kennels of any animal shelter to see that these dogs need more protection. The really sad thing is, is that the dogs you do see waiting for new homes are the lucky ones, they at least made it this far!

A very, very sad day for animal welfare.

Anonymous said...

as usual the government chooses to bury it's head in the sand. I suppose in an industry that continues to make millions in taxes through the government they choose not to rock the boat. we should continue to put pressure on the government and make sure these beautiful creatures are protected. One further comment i like to put forward is what if it was labradors or spaniels (the preferred choice of the gentry) that were continually being mistreated? would they be as slow to change legislation?

Unknown said...

Hi Guys,

As a greyhound owner myself I am appauled. As I sit here typing my lovely boy is curled up sleeping nearby. He is one of many that didn't make it as far as the race track. When he was no use to anyone he was turfed out on the streets and by the time the dog warden found him he was absolute skin and bone. I found him in the kennels the next day and I had to wait a week to get him home. When he came home to me he slept for 3 days non stop. Over the next 3 months I nursed him back to the peak of health and fitness and now everyone always comments on how beautiful and friendly he is. He is absolutely devoted to me and I always say to people that if they want a dog a greyhound is the way to go because they are so wonderful. I say we walk our greyhounds right up to the Houses of parliament and let them look in the eye the animals they have let down.