Scotland needs to lead the way in the UK and put animal welfare first by implementing a full ban on the greyhound industry.
Greyhound racing was once a prevalent industry in Scotland with over 30 locations throughout the country. However, due to cultural changes and shifts in public attitude towards animals, Shawfield Stadium is now the only remaining licensed venue in Scotland for greyhound racing. Greyhound races are also held at the unlicensed ‘flapper’ track at Thornton Stadium in Fife.
This outdated industry contributes to a number of welfare issues for the dogs. The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) reported 197 injuries and 15 deaths at Shawfield between 2017 and 2020. We have no doubt that number would be higher if the pandemic hadn’t forced the temporary closure of the stadium.
No similar record is kept at Thornton, where the risk to greyhounds is greater due to there being no governing body to ensure animal welfare standards are being upheld. The possibility of injury or death at Thornton is presumed to be higher due to the lack of on-site veterinary support and testing for illegal substances in the dogs’ systems. There is also an increased risk to greyhounds due to the likelihood of ex-Shawfield racers who are more prone to injury due to age or health issues associated with a career in racing being sold on to be raced at Thornton.
We have investigated a number of greyhound trainers in relation to administering illegal substances to greyhounds. These include illegal veterinary medicines and performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and caffeine-based substances.
Chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, said, “The Scottish SPCA is pleased that the Scottish Government is calling on stakeholders for evidence regarding greyhound racing.
“We are hopeful that the review will lead to a ban of this outdated industry as these dogs are being bred specifically for human gain and profit with little to no regard for their welfare, on or off the track.
“Our stance is still that Scotland needs to lead the way in the UK and put animal welfare first by implementing a full ban on the industry.”
If anyone is concerned about the welfare of an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.