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Greyhound Racing Industry

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from animal welfare organisations on the decision by the greyhound racing industry to pursue self-regulation; and if he will make a statement. (86535)

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.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will reconsider the decision not to include proposals for statutory provision for greyhound racing in the Animal Welfare Bill. (87343)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to promote the welfare of retired greyhounds. (87137)

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.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many racing greyhounds were killed at the end of their working lives in each of the last five years. (87402)