Since the announcement of the #CutTheChase campaign last year, various social media channels have been awash with talk of the campaign to bring an end to greyhound racing in Wales. Many people have raised points ranging from genuine questions to downright bizarre conspiracy theories.
In this article, we have chosen 5 common myths we have seen and explained why they’re not always what they first appear.
1. If you ban greyhound racing, other dog sports like agility, flyball and canicross will be banned too.
The industrial nature of greyhound racing with its intensive breeding, training and racing pipeline means it is completely different in nature to dog sports like agility, flyball and canicross that don’t involve gambling. The welfare concerns that come from generating a constant supply of dogs to meet a betting schedule, and turn a profit, are enormous compared to these more casual sports.
As a dog rescue charity, we want to see the best for all dogs when they take part in any activity. Although there may be isolated welfare incidents in these other sports, there aren’t widespread systemic issues like there are with greyhound racing.
2. Greyhounds will become extinct if greyhound racing is banned.
You only need to look the vast array of herding, hunting and other working breeds that are now almost exclusively pets. It is simply not true that a dog breed becomes extinct once it ceases to be used for work or profit. If that were true, we would have no pet St. Bernards, labradors, terriers, wolfhounds, deerhounds, collies, boxers, alsatians, dobermanns, rottweilers…the list goes on.
3. You can’t ban greyhound racing because the shelters wouldn’t be able to cope.
The #CutTheChase campaign is calling for a 5-year phasing out of greyhound racing to reduce impact to both animals and humans involved with the industry. At this rate, current shelter capacity and throughput would be sufficient to make sure all the dogs currently in the industry can find their forever homes.
4. The campaign to end racing in Wales/UK is being secretly funded from overseas.
We have to admit that this is one of the more bizarre theories we saw. Given how much it costs to rehabilitate and rehome our amazing greyhounds and lurchers, we would love to be receiving some of the sums we have seen mentioned! The truth is that we rely solely on the kindness of our fantastic supporters to do what we do, whether that be through donations, fundraising or visiting one of our charity shops.
5. If greyhound racing ends in Wales, won’t Greyhound Rescue Wales cease to exist?
Whilst we would like to see an end to greyhound racing in Wales, sadly we recognise it is likely the rest of the UK will continue with the practice of greyhound racing for several years to come. Whilst we focus on rehoming dogs within Wales and the borders, many of our racing greyhounds come from across the British Isles which means there will still be hounds in need of our help.
Even when greyhound racing is banned UK-wide, there will always be sighthounds needing our assistance, expertise and resources to get them back to full health and find their forever homes. That is a problem that, sadly, is not likely to go away any time soon.
You can learn more about our stance on greyhound racing by clicking here.