Today, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has published its 2022 track injury data, revealing, once again, a higher injury rate than in 2018, when it introduced its ‘Greyhound Commitment’ aiming to ‘further protect and promote welfare’.

The data sadly reveals that 4,354 injuries were recorded in registered raced greyhounds and 306 died in 2022. This means that a shocking total of 22,284 injuries were recorded and 2,718 greyhounds died, from all causes, between 2018-2022.

A coalition of animal welfare organisations has condemned the figures and is calling on the Scottish Government to phase out Scotland’s dog racing industry.

A spokesperson for the Unbound the Greyhound coalition states:

The appalling high number of dog deaths and injuries further proves that the industry is incapable of self-regulation. Despite committing to reduce track injuries 5 years ago, GBGB has failed to meet this commitment. In all years, except 2020 when tracks were temporarily shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since that commitment was made the injury rate has been higher than in 2018.

Each of these dogs is, or sadly was, an individual, with their own characteristics and personalities. Greyhound racing poses an inherent risk to animal welfare”.

On Scotland’s last remaining track, the coalition comments:

Scotland's greyhound racing industry is on its last legs with just one unlicensed track remaining in Scotland. As it is completely unregulated, we do not have any injury or death figures from the unlicensed Thornton racing track in Fife. This is greatly concerning.

Our open letter to the Scottish Government urging that steps be taken to phase out greyhound racing in Scotland was signed by over 5,000 people in just over a week. Recent polling also reveals that the majority of Scots want to see the Scottish Government phase out greyhound racing.1 It is imperative that the Scottish Government commits to this phase out to ensure that the industry isn’t re-established further down the line”.

The figures have arrived just as the coalition has launched its advertising campaign throughout Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Unbound the Greyhound posters that call on the Scottish Government to put greyhound racing out of its misery, and encourage the public to sign the open letter, can be found on bus shelters and telephone kiosks in Scotland’s largest cities.

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell, who has been campaigning for a phase out of greyhound racing, said: “The number of greyhounds dying at racetracks is shocking.

What is worse, the growing number of those being injured despite there being fewer races is extremely worrying, and proves this activity is just not safe.

These injuries are exactly the cause of suffering, lower quality of life, and animals being left homeless because they can no longer be exploited for gambling.

No animals should have to suffer this way, and no dog is expendable simply for the pleasure of watching spectators. It is barbaric, outdated, and should be phased out.

I will continue to raise this in the Scottish Parliament and will do whatever it takes to bring an end to to this cruel and wilful exploitation of greyhounds”.

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 Group for Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) and Animal Concern.
  2. Contact Eve Massie Bishop at: [email protected] or at: 0131 285 9859 for any media enquiries.
  3. The coalition’s open letter to the Scottish Government can be viewed here.
  4. Coalition member Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation’s parliamentary petition (the 5th most signed in Scottish parliamentary history) can be viewed here.
  5. GBGB’s recent injury and death data can be accessed here.