Please Take Action
Despite an overwhelming response from the public to the recent Greyhound Welfare Consultation, calling for a ban on betting or at the very least statutory regulation, Defra are proposing the government afford the racing industry – who do not enforce the Animal Welfare Act – the continued freedom to self regulate GBGB tracks and the local authorities to license independent tracks.
However, according to LACORS – the government body who coordinate councils – the proposed regulations do not contain any offence, inviting track owners to break the law and leaving councils with no powers to prosecute them. As a consequence racing greyhounds will continue to receive NO protection under the Animal Welfare Act – on or off the tracks.
These proposals will ensure the protection of one thing only – the millions of pounds profits amassed by the gambling industry and the revenue generated for the government – through the betting on greyhounds.
Not surprisingly, 1,671 replies to the consultation, were in support of the Racing Dog Protection Act – which would outlaw betting and effectively commercial greyhound racing – and shows the ever growing public demand to see an end to the cruel ‘sport’ of greyhound racing.
A total of 2,451 responses to the consultation were recorded, of which 89% disagreed with the government’s proposals. All objections by welfare/rescue organizations and individuals were rejected by Defra as were 8,500 – 78% – responses in support of the RSPCA, which ‘technically’ missed the deadline.
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) raised serious concerns with Defra – during the consultation period – stating the draft regulations were fundamentally flawed and will not tackle the very real concerns relating to greyhound welfare.
More recently the Chairman of LACORS, Councillor Paul Bettison, has stated – ‘The proposals need an urgent rethink. Right now, they are not worth the paper they are written on, if councils remain powerless to prosecute those putting greyhounds at risk. Councils will find it almost impossible to stop rogue tracks from operating and won’t be able to take track owners to court if they ignore the law.
Filmed in 2008 – the proposed welfare regulations will have NO impact on these appalling conditions.
Councillor Bettison continues – ‘Racing dogs spend an enormous amount of their time in training kennels, but the regulation of these is not even included. Councils along with everyone else are facing tough financial times, and wasting public money on introducing a meaningless licensing regime is scandalous’
‘More thought must also be given to those dogs that are no longer able to race. We are a nation of dog lovers and I think the public would be outraged if these hard working dogs were not protected. They have, after all, probably earned a lot of people a lot of money.’
Claire Robinson, the RSPCA’s government relations manager, agrees: ‘Councils play a key role in enforcing animal welfare laws and we’re disappointed that Government has not listened to them when they say they will not be able to enforce the proposed regulations’
The Dogs Trust have also criticised the proposals, stating – ‘The charity is appalled that the Government has decided to restrict greyhound welfare provisions to just trackside activity – thereby condemning thousands of dogs to a life of misery and in some cases an early death. The proposed regulations will have no significant impact on the fate of retired racing greyhounds or the young dogs who never reach the track and do not extend to training or breeding kennels, despite the fact this is where racing greyhounds spend 90 per cent of their lives. Dogs Trust is calling for the Government to understand the strength of public feeling about this issue and extend these regulations immediately’.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
It is vitally important that these regulations are withdrawn – please click here to sign the petition – ‘Help Greyhounds’
Please let the government know your strength of feeling on commercial greyhound racing – click here to sign the petition ‘Dog Racing Ban on Betting’
Please email your MP
Contact details can be found here http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
Request these worthless and fundamentally flawed regulations – which will only serve to protect the gambling industry’s profits and assist them to propagate a ‘well regulated industry with high standards of welfare’ – are withdrawn immediately. Racing greyhounds will continue to receive NO protection under the Animal Welfare Act.
Please enclose these links to the LACORS Press Release and the BBC Frontline video
As always – many thanks for your support, care and compassion for the greyhounds.