News Blog A lookback at the ‘Greyhounds Around the Globe’ conference 05-10-23 Last month, people from across the world were brought together by greyhounds. Unbound the Greyhound coalition partners, GREY2K USA, united leaders in greyhound advocacy and adoption in Edinburgh for their third annual ‘Greyhounds Around the Globe’ conference on Saturday 16th September. We were delighted to attend this event, which had an overwhelmingly positive and friendly atmosphere, and share our experience with our supporters. We were greeted by some familiar faces With greyhounds being at the heart of the conference, it was befitting that there were numerous rescued greyhounds in attendance, including some familiar faces; Kaas with her signature squinty smile, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) cover star Sasha and OneKind office dog Bob! All the gorgeous greyhounds had a brilliant time at the conference; socialising, snoozing on cozy beds and seemingly sensing that they were the stars of the show! The conference provided the opportunity for a shared learning exchange on the issue of greyhound racing between countries in the UK, across the pond in America and as far as Australia and New Zealand (who joined via video from the other side of the world!). It was inspiring to be part of an event which saw individuals from animal welfare organisations and essential grassroots greyhound groups come together for the unified goal of creating a future where greyhounds are considered companions, not commodities; where compassion triumphs over competition. OneKind joined a panel on dog racing in Scotland The stellar line-up of speakers kicked off with a Scotland panel, comprising of our Campaigner & Press Officer Eve, Mike Flynn of Scottish SPCA and MSPs Colin Smyth and Mark Ruskell. This panel delivered updates on how greyhound racing has been brought to Parliament and is now being discussed as an issue, the dwindling support for the industry in Scotland and the Unbound the Greyhound coalition campaign to date since the launch in June. We rejoiced as our friends and fellow Unbound the Greyhound members, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) and Say No to Greyhound Racing in Scotland were both recognised with awards for their dedication to exposing and working to end the greyhound racing industry in Scotland. As you may already know, SAGE’s Scottish parliamentary petition is now the most signed in Scotland’s history having surpassed 28,000 signatures, which is an outstanding achievement and we are delighted to be working alongside them in the Unbound the Greyhound coalition campaign. Leading speakers across the UK advocated for greyhounds Next up was the Wales panel, featuring Claire Calder of Dogs Trust, Greyhound Rescue Wales’s Tim Doyle, Emma Slawinski of RSPCA, and Vanessa Waddon representing our Unbound the Greyhound coalition partners from Hope Rescue. The speakers provided the background on the years of campaigning in Wales, the rescuing of surrendered and injured dogs from racetracks and the formation of the #CutTheChase campaign. Then the England panel took to the stage, with Trudy Baker of the grassroot group Great Exploitations and Emma Judd from the team of our friends and collaborators at the League Against Cruel Sports. They discussed the financial costs of the dog racing industry and taxpayers supporting charities who rehabilitate the dogs before rehoming. The final panel of the day was that of Northern Ireland and Ireland. We were greatly interested to hear Katie Corcoran of Greyhound Awareness Cork speaking on the situation in Ireland, which differs from the dog racing industry here in Scotland and the rest of the UK, as it is funded by tax and subsidised by their government. The panel also featured Patrick Brown who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly – equivalent of MSP or MP – and he highlighted the lack of awareness and regulation in Northern Ireland and his plans to address the issue. Lastly, there was an important and thought-provoking presentation from Matt Zarb-Cousin, works to combat the harms caused by gambling and addiction. In his speech, he urged us all to remember the issues of the gambling issues and be considerate of those who may be battling addiction to betting. The event was enjoyed by humans and hounds alike Overall, the supportive and the collaborative energy in the room was palpable, with the organisations thanking those in the grassroot groups who have been campaigning on a local level for years and acknowledging how we can pull our strengths to work together for greyhounds. We would like to thank our friends at GREY2K USA for holding this wonderful conference which was thoroughly enjoyed by hounds and humans alike.