A group of 9 animal welfare organisations is sending a clear message to the Scottish Government to phase out dog racing in Scotland.

Last night, the Unbound the Greyhound coalition projected text that read ‘End Dog Racing in Scotland’ below Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh’s Lothian Road, onto Glasgow’s former racing track, Shawfield, Glasgow Green’s Mclennan Arch and Barras Market. The projections came on the first day of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) ‘Greyhound Week’- a week they say is to ‘showcase the joy and excitement of greyhound racing.’

The group also projected an animated video contrasting the fictional lives of a rescued greyhound and a greyhound still in the industry onto the ‘People Make Glasgow’ building beside Glasgow city’s George Square.

A spokesperson for the coalition said:

"There is nothing to celebrate in an industry where 2,718 dogs died and 22,284 injuries were recorded in just 5 years. 675 of the dogs that died weren’t even killed for medical reasons, but because their treatment was deemed too expensive, they were homeless, designated ‘unsuitable for rehoming’ or, effectively, surplus to requirements. This is absolutely appalling.

"Despite committing to reduce track injuries 5 years ago, GBGB has failed to do so. In all years, except 2020 when tracks were temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the injury rate has been higher than in 2018".

On the projections the spokesperson said:

"It is clear that the greyhound racing industry is on its last legs in Scotland: the majority of Scots (6 in 10) don’t support greyhound racing;1 the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission has called an end to greyhound racing in Scotland ‘desirable’; and our open letter to the Scottish Government calling for a phase out of greyhound racing has secured more than 15,000 signatures in just a few months.

"The Scottish Government is considering the licensing of greyhound racing. Licensing will not protect dogs from the inherent welfare risks of greyhound racing and has clearly failed in the case of licensed GBGB tracks. This is why we have sent the Government a clear message: put an end dog racing in Scotland".

On the dwindling greyhound racing industry in Scotland, the group commented:

"Thornton Stadium is Scotland’s last remaining greyhound racing track. While it is not a GBGB registered track and thus may not be partaking in Greyhound Week, all greyhound racing carries an inherent welfare risk. As an unlicensed track, it is completely unregulated, which means we have no way of knowing injury and death figures for the Thornton track".

"Glasgow’s Shawfield Stadium is no longer an operating GBGB track, but there is a risk that the stadium could be revived. This is why it is imperative that the Scottish Government commits to a phase out of greyhound racing to ensure that the industry isn’t re-established further down the line".

Mark Ruskell MSP, who has long supported the calls for an end to greyhound racing in Scotland, commented further:

The greyhound racing industry is beyond reform. The inherent risks of racing dogs at 40mph round an oval track are painfully obvious – thousands of dogs are injured each year, and many lose their lives due to their racing careers.

Put plainly, no animal should have to suffer this way. No dog is expendable simply for the pleasure of spectators.

Greyhound racing is barbaric, outdated, and must be phased out as soon as possible. It’s time for the Scottish Government to lead the pack and put an end to this ‘sport’ once and for all".


Notes to Editor

  1. The coalition includes OneKind, GREY2K USA Worldwide, Say No To Greyhound Racing in Scotland, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE), the League Against Cruel Sports, Hope Rescue, the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) and Animal Concern.
  2. Videos and photos of the projection stunt can be downloaded here.
  3. The coalition’s open letter to the Scottish Government can be viewed here.
  4. A petition by Unbound the Greyhound coalition member, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) is the most signed petition in Scottish parliamentary history. It can be found here.
  5. Contact Eve Massie Bishop at: [email protected] or at: 0131 285 9859 for any media enquiries.