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Blue Cross calls for an end to Greyhound Racing

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In a bold and urgent move, leading animal welfare organization Blue Cross, along with Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, is demanding the immediate cessation of greyhound racing. The collective voices of these renowned charities are echoing across the UK, highlighting the grave welfare concerns and unnecessary deaths that plague the sport. With a call to action, they are urging the government to take decisive steps to end this cruel practice once and for all.

Chris Burghes, Chief Executive of Blue Cross, expresses deep concern over the welfare of greyhounds involved in racing. Despite continuous efforts by the animal welfare sector to effect change, progress has been slow, and the consequences for these magnificent creatures remain dire. The time has come to put an end to this so-called ‘sport’ and prioritize the well-being of these dogs.

Working collaboratively under the Greyhound Forum, the three charities have diligently engaged with the greyhound racing industry for years in an attempt to improve conditions. While some progress has been made, the fundamental dangers associated with greyhound racing persist.

The high-speed pursuit around oval tracks inflicts significant injuries upon the dogs, often resulting in tragic outcomes. Disturbing data from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) reveals that between 2018 and 2021, over 2,000 greyhounds lost their lives due to racing-related incidents. Additionally, nearly 18,000 injuries were recorded, with countless other dogs suffering on independent tracks.

In-depth reviews conducted by Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, and the RSPCA shed light on the distressing conditions endured by racing greyhounds throughout their lives. From inadequate welfare standards in kennels and during transportation to poor living conditions and inadequate nutrition, these animals are subjected to avoidable suffering. Moreover, the frequency and severity of injuries sustained during races raise serious concerns about the overall health and well-being of these dogs.

The racing of greyhounds in extreme weather conditions and the alarming number of unaccounted-for puppies further exacerbate the welfare crisis. Dubbed “wastage” by the sector, this unexplained gap in the lives of these innocent creatures demands immediate attention. Furthermore, inadequate regulation, lack of transparency, and enforcement issues within the industry add to the growing concerns.

The charities emphasize that the financial instability of the racing industry has hindered meaningful change for the welfare of greyhounds. Even if substantial funding were made available, a complete overhaul of the sport is necessary to ensure compatibility with ethical standards. The current system falls woefully short in providing sustainable and consistent income.

In light of these distressing revelations, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, and the RSPCA are united in their demand for an end to greyhound racing. They propose a phased approach, allowing a transition period of five years for careful planning and coordination to safeguard the well-being of the countless dogs affected. Notably, in regions such as Wales, where only one track exists, a significantly shorter phase-out period is expected.

You can join the movement to support the phased end of greyhound racing by using the hashtag #cutthechase on social media platforms. Let your voice be heard and stand alongside these esteemed charities in their mission to save the lives of racing greyhounds.

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