News Blog Supporter guide for responding to the call to views on greyhound racing 27-03-23 Will you show your support for an end to this cruel industry by submitting a response aided by our supporter guide? The Rural Affairs and Islands Committee (RAI) is considering a petition which asks for an end to greyhound racing in Scotland and has requested the public’s views. The petition, submitted in 2019 by Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation, calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to put an end to greyhound racing in Scotland. As part of its consideration of the petition, the RAI Committee asked the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission for its views on the welfare of greyhounds raced in Scotland. The report, published last month, stated that an end to greyhound racing in Scotland would be ‘desirable’. Supporter guide Respond to the call to views Note that those who are not resident in Scotland are welcome to respond. Q1: What is your view about the welfare of greyhounds used for racing in Scotland? There is a wealth of welfare issues for dogs bred for the racing industry that you may wish to mention in your response. These include: Excessive breeding Thousands of puppies are bred to supply a racing pool estimated to be 16,300 dogs across the UK and those that don’t make the grade will be rehomed, or even killed. The sheer number of dogs needing rehomed also puts pressure on rehoming charities. Risk of injury Between 2018 -2021 there were 17,930 recorded injuries amongst registered raced greyhounds in the UK. 197 of these injuries were recorded at Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow, before its closure in 2020. Doping Dogs may be illegally doped with performance enhancing drugs, including class A drug cocaine. Between 2018 -19, 13 dogs tested positive for doping at Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow. Inadequate living conditions Raced greyhounds may spend as much as 95% on their time in kennels. This can mean they are not given opportunities to socialise and experience the outside world. Indeed, many greyhounds needing to be rehomed will be completely unequipped to lives as companion animals and sadly some will struggle to find homes. Unregulated Thornton ‘flapper’ track Scotland’s last remaining active track is completely unregulated, which is very concerning. Any industry that profits off animals in ‘sporting activities will carry risks of welfare issues. Some greyhounds were forced to run during the UK’s heatwaves, when we were advised to keep our dog indoors for risk of heatstroke. Greyhounds are one of the breeds more susceptible to heatstroke. Please do include any other thoughts you have on greyhound racing. If you have rescued a greyhound please consider adding your greyhound’s story/your personal experience in rehabilitating them. These types of case studies are very impactful. Q2: Do you agree with the petition which calls for a ban on greyhound racing in Scotland? Please explain your reasons for your answer. State whether you agree that there should be an end to greyhound racing in Scotland and include your reasons why. Your reasons may include reference to: High number of deaths of raced greyhound across the UK (Between 2018 -2021 there were 2,412 greyhound deaths. 15 of these deaths were recorded at Shawfield Stadium). Self-regulation by Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has clearly failed. Public opinion towards greyhound racing has shifted in recent years and the majority of Scots (6 in 10) want to see the Scottish Government end greyhound racing. Scotland is 1 of only 7 countries that legally allows greyhound racing. As a nation of animal lovers, Scotland should lead the way in banning greyhound racing. Q3: Do you agree with the recommendations of the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission report? Please explain your reasons for your answer. You may wish to read the report, or specifically the recommendations, on p24: Download Report We suggest that you note your support for the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission’s recommendations and comments that: The risks of poor welfare outweigh the likely positive aspects of greyhound racing. Thus, on average, a dog bred for racing in Scotland currently has poorer welfare than the average of other dogs in the population. Recommend that no further new greyhound tracks are permitted in Scotland. You may also wish to state that you do not support any interim measures and reinstate your support for the need for an end to greyhound racing in Scotland.