More than 86% of those who responded to the proposed Bill to ban greyhound racing in Scotland have expressed support for the measure. 

The Prohibition of Greyhound Racing (Scotland) Bill, brought by Mark Ruskell MSP, would make greyhound racing illegal in Scotland. 

Additionally, 9,505 people expressed their support of the proposed greyhound racing ban by participating in the Unbound the Greyhound public pledge

Reasons for support

Greyhound taking part in a race.789 individuals responded to the consultation, which sought people’s views on the Prohibition of Greyhound Racing (Scotland) Bill’s proposal to ban greyhound racing. An incredible 686 respondents were supportive of the proposal, which included 20 organisations. 

The most frequently cited reasons for supporting the ban, as outlined in the summary (sometimes abridged for our blog) are as follows: 

  • Racing at speed on oval tracks is inherently dangerous for greyhounds and risks significant injury, trauma and death; 
  • Current legislation is not effective in protecting greyhounds; 
  • The facilitation of greyhound racing has many associated negative impacts on greyhounds, such as high levels of ‘wastage’ (due to dogs having a very short racing life and being dispensed with if no longer of monetary value) and issues with how dogs are kept, transported and prepared for racing. 
  • Those responsible for greyhound racing do not provide appropriate funding for the care of dogs no longer racing; 
  • The responsibility for the care and rehoming of former racing greyhounds is placed on third sector organisations; 
  • Greyhound racing exists only for gambling purposes and therefore both exploits animals for solely monetary gain and encourages gambling; 
  • Greyhound racing is in decline, and therefore it is the perfect time to legislate a ban. 

Read the summary

First-hand accounts 

A rescued greyhound with his guardian.

Many individuals who responded in favour of a ban also shared their first-hand experiences in rescuing and rehoming greyhounds. Their stories highlighted both the initial, and sometimes long-term, challenges these gentle, sensitive dogs may face due to their treatment by the racing industry. 

One individual, wrote: 

As a fosterer and adopter of rescue greyhounds I know the damage done to these beautiful gentle giants...These dogs often don’t know how to play as they never have the chance to as puppy’s. They come covered in scars, have arthritic toes from running round a track at high speeds. They are left nervous and anxious and either freeze from fear or can be reactive as they aren't socialised with other breeds...These gentle creatures deserve so much more than the awful life they have pre rescue, discarded at a young age when they stop making money”. 

Another, Jaqueline Brown, who has rescued 7 greyhounds and fostered more, wrote: 

" experience of the racing industry has consistently been one of abuse, neglect and exploitation for financial gain. The public are left to pay for the damage, either that or the dogs are killed”. 

What’s next? 

It's clear that most people see greyhound racing as an outdated practice that has no place in a modern, compassionate Scotland.  

Mark Ruskell MSP has now lodged a final proposal of the Bill. If the Bill receives cross-party support from MSPs, it can then be introduced in the Scottish Parliament. 

We will keep you, our supporters, updated as the Bill progresses and will call on you when we need your help.