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Greyhound Racing: Animal Welfare

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons greyhound racing tracks affiliated to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain are exempt from the proposed new licensing requirements for the promotion of the welfare of racing greyhounds. (290355)

The regulations we have proposed will only exempt tracks that are affiliated to a body that has gained United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) status in respect of the enforcement of the standards set down in the regulations. Only if the Greyhound Board of Great Britain secures UKAS accreditation as an enforcement body for the standards in the regulations will any track affiliated to it be exempt. Not to exempt such tracks would, in effect, mean that these tracks would be inspected by two different bodies for the same welfare standards.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for the introduction of regulations for the promotion of the welfare of racing greyhounds. (290356)

We have recently published the summary of the responses to the public consultation we held on our proposals to introduce regulations to promote the welfare of racing greyhounds. As indicated in the summary, we intend to lay regulations before Parliament this autumn. Subject to approval by Parliament, it is our intention that these regulations would come into force on 6 April 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which animal welfare organisations his Department has consulted as part of its review of regulations relating to the welfare of racing greyhounds. (290357)

Many animal welfare organisations submitted responses to the recent DEFRA consultation on proposals for racing greyhound regulations. The summary of the responses to the consultation, which we have recently published on our website, provides a full list of all the organisations that responded. Prior to the public consultation, DEFRA formed a number of working groups to help advise on the contents of the regulations. As well as representatives of the industry, veterinarians and local authorities, representatives of welfare groups were also represented. These included the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports.