Campaigners have been urging competent regulators to close the last remaining greyhound racing tracks in Scotland and fully ban the activity there.
Gill Docherty has filed a petition representing the Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) to highlight the fact that greyhound racing is currently legally allowed in only eight countries worldwide. According to the information included in the petition, there are two race tracks, one of which unlicensed, which are still available north of the Border. The first one, which is also under the governance of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), is Rutherglen-based Shawfield Stadium, while the other, which is called a flapping course, is the Kirkcaldy-based Thornton Greyhound Stadium.
Figures which have been previously provided by the sports’ governing body have shown that approximately 1,000 racing dogs in the UK died in 2018. In addition, the regulator has also found almost 5,000 cases of injury sustained by racing dogs, many of whom were unable to race any more and were sent to charity organisations for adoption.
Campaigners have also shared their concerns about the damage which is being done by doping to racing dogs after drugs were found in some of the dogs’ blood systems. Only in 2018, there were 10 positive dope tests, with some of them involving a Class A drug.
GBGB Says It Has Zero Tolerance on Mistreating Dogs to Human Entertainment
The GBGB has been required to track and publish injury and death statistics on an annual basis since 2017. In 2018, the Greyhound Board announced plans for improved welfare and reduction of injuries in the industry. On the other hand, SAGE has been protesting outside Shawfield over the last couple of years, with demonstrations also held in Kirkcaldy.
The campaigners are now trying to ban the entire greyhound industry in Scotland and see as many retired racing dogs rehomed responsibly across the country. According to the SAGE petition, it is high time for the Scottish Government to roll out some legislation under which greyhound racing would be made illegal. The organisation has noted that the support for the exploitative use of dogs for entertainment has been steadily declining in the last few years.
A spokesperson of the GBGB has explained that the Board had “zero tolerance” on mistreating greyhounds and was committed to taking care for the welfare of the animals on every racecourse.
Campaigners have shared their opinion that now is the right time for the Scottish Government to unveil proper legislation under which greyhound racing would be banned, a move which would lead to the closure of the two remaining greyhound racing tracks in Scotland and would most likely prevent any new tracks from opening. As explained by Ms Docherty, a legislative change aimed at banning greyhound racing is necessary to tackle the high number of positive drug tests, injuries and deaths of animals used for human entertainment and gambling profit.
As reported by Ms Docherty, over 5,000 signatures have been gathered by the petition in a matter of days.