The Department has received representations from a number of animal welfare organisations about regulating greyhound racing.
I recently received a joint letter from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Dogs Trust and the League Against Cruel Sports outlining their concerns on the self-regulation of greyhound racing. These organisations are represented on DEFRA’s Greyhound Working Group—set up to examine the welfare aspects of greyhound racing and to offer advice to Ministers and officials on future regulations and a code of practice. This group has yet to make any recommendations.
The Animal Welfare Bill, currently before Parliament, will introduce an offence of failing to provide for the welfare needs of an animal. This will apply to owners and keepers of all animals, including racing and retired greyhounds. In addition, we are considering making specific regulations under the Animal Welfare Bill in relation to the welfare of racing greyhounds. We consider that these regulations are better contained in secondary legislation rather than on the face of the Bill.