Coalition says it’s only a matter of time before an end to dog racing is over the line
Animal welfare campaigners have come together to put pressure on key policy makers to introduce a phased end to greyhound racing in Scotland.
Members of the coalition launched their Unbound the Greyhound campaign this weekend in Glasgow city centre where human and canine supporters encouraged members of the public to sign an open letter to the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for animal welfare, Mairi Gougeon MSP, urging that steps be taken to phase out greyhound racing in Scotland.
The coalition had a table outside Lush on Buchanan Street in Glasgow.
A spokesperson for the coalition said: “We were looking forward to launching our campaign in Glasgow and had a brilliant response from members of the public and nearby businesses, some of whom even took our leaflets to share with their customers in store.
“Our four-legged campaigners were, obviously, the stars of the show!
“The greyhounds, all who have been rescued from the dog racing industry, enjoyed the hours relaxing in their comfy beds under a large, shaded gazebo with plenty of treats, water and attention.
“We must thank Lush for their wonderful support throughout the day. The dogs loved exploring the store!”
It has been estimated that raced greyhounds have a 1 in 4 chance of injury and a 1 in 200 risk of fatality every time they race.
“These shocking statistics are being highlighted by a new coalition of campaigners and charities working together to get an end to racing over the line. There’s just one track left in Scotland, an unregulated track at Thornton in Fife.
Recent polling carried out by Panelbase found that six in ten Scots think the Scottish Parliament should vote to phase out greyhound racing, while 63% of respondents said they have an unfavourable view of the sport.
A spokesperson for the coalition said: “It’s only a matter of time before greyhound racing is over in Scotland.
“This is an industry which is of no interest to the general public and is enjoyed by just a tiny minority who participate in unregulated racing at Scotland’s last remaining track.
“The Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to show leadership and compassion and take steps to phase out this dying industry which survives only on the exploitation of gentle dogs.
“It is time to put the dog racing industry out of its misery.”
The coalition includes OneKind, GREY2K USA Worldwide, Say No To Greyhound Racing in Scotland, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE), the League Against Cruel Sports, Hope Rescue, the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) and Animal Concern.
Mark Ruskell MSP said: “It is heartening to see so many people from such a cross section of groups coming together as one voice to demand a phase out of greyhound racing in Scotland.
“They are motivated by nothing but the welfare of these beautiful creatures, to ensure that they are cared for and protected, as opposed to what is currently happening.
“It is beyond time that the operators of Thornton Greyhound Stadium, and all who knowingly put these dogs at risk, joined efforts to find loving forever homes for greyhounds still trapped in this high-risk and gambling-led industry and shut their racetracks for good.
“The intervention of #UnboundTheGreyhound is warmly welcomed as we step up our efforts to have races phased out for good. I hope the growing weight in numbers signals to the industry that their days are numbered.”