Greyhound Racing – Our Position
Greyhound Rescue Wales is opposed to greyhound racing and wishes to see the activity banned. We support the wider movement to achieve a ban on greyhound racing by linking with other charities and campaigns.
Greyhound Rescue Wales, like many other animal charities, had for many years adopted a ‘neutral’ approach to the greyhound racing industry. We sought to strive for improvements in the industry and to work with representatives to achieve a better life for greyhounds at all stages, from breeding to racing to retirement. Unfortunately, through our years of experience and significant research and data-gathering, it became clear that the improvements we wanted to see weren’t happening quickly or extensively enough to have any real impact. We had serious concerns that the greyhound racing industry was incapable of achieving these improvements at all.
As a result of these concerns, in March 2022 we put our stance to a membership vote. The result of the vote was clearly in favour of adopting a stance against greyhound racing and supporting activity towards achieving a ban. This is now a core part of our strategy for the future.
Where do our partner charities stand on racing?
In September 2022, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and RSPCA released a joint announcement calling for a ban on greyhound racing in the UK, with a phasing out of the activity over a 5-year period. This announcement came after an extensive review into all aspects of the greyhound industry and the impact on dog welfare. Their conclusions were very similar to ours and you can read more about their campaign by clicking here.
Greyhound Rescue Wales are a supporter of the #CutTheChase campaign along with Hope Rescue, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and RSPCA, seeking to achieve a ban on greyhound racing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you saying that everyone who works in greyhound racing is evil/cruel?
Not at all. We know there are lots of responsible people in the greyhound industry who treat the dogs in their care extremely well and take their welfare obligations seriously. Unfortunately, when considering the industry as a whole, the net impact of the process including breeding, training, racing and retirement is negative for the dogs involved.
Why are you supporting a ban? Why can’t you just call for better regulation?
Unfortunately we have been doing this for quite some time and have seen no indication that the industry is capable of eradicating the problems we have seen.
Isn’t this distracting from rescuing and rehoming dogs?
The majority of our activity is, and will always be, rescuing and rehoming greyhounds and lurchers. Unfortunately we are under greater pressure than ever with a waiting list that grows longer and longer. We don’t feel it is right for rescue charities like us to simply carry on like this without solving the root cause of the problem.
Won’t banning greyhound racing cause it to go underground?
Once greyhound racing becomes illegal, it will lose the support of the betting industry and therefore the majority of the incentive for people to participate in it. Sadly, illegal use of dogs for sport will never be fully eradicated, but if illegal greyhound racing were to take place it would be on a tiny scale compared to the 1000s of dogs currently being produced for the UK industry every year.
Won’t greyhounds die out as a breed once racing is banned?
Absolutely not. Greyhounds have been around for 1000s of years, yet greyhound racing has only existed since the 1920s. You only have to look at the scores of breeds formerly used for hunting and herding that are now almost exclusively family pets to see that breeds don’t need to be used for profit to survive. We would love to see the day when all greyhounds can spend their whole life in a loving home and not have their worth measured by profitability on a track.
Sighthound breeds love to run. Surely they enjoy racing?
Sighthounds certainly get stimulation from running and chasing, when it is their choice to do so. The environment of racing is designed to artificially exacerbate this response to the point of causing undue stress and anxiety for greyhounds, as well as resulting in uncacceptable levels of injuries and fatalities.
Greyhounds are also unable to understand the risk posed to them by racing around an oval track. They may enjoy chasing a hare when they leave the traps, but they don’t have the capacity to understand they could be injured or even killed during the race they are about to run in.