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Scandalous abuse of racing greyhounds with some doped and ‘disappearing’ when no longer useful

NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: It doesn’t matter what article you read online, and it doesn’t matter whether you are researching the treatment of racing greyhounds in Scotland or in England, and I suspect any other country in the UK, you come across wide ranging abuse of the dogs. Abuse both during their working lives and at the end of their usefulness as racers. Greyhound racing is the product of human self-indulgence and there seems to be very little in the way of respect for the sentience of these animals by the people who organise the racing. I suppose that it has to be expected because greyhound racing is about gambling and gambling is about money and making a profit, and the making of money always trumps respect for animals when necessary.

You’ll see aficionados of greyhound racing defending it to the death. But it appears that they are misleading the public.

Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing. Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay

Greyhound blood donors

Captive and caged greyhounds in their kennels at Hemopet, an animal blood bank. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz,Orange County Register/SCNG)

See link below for the story behind the above photo.

Here are some examples of the abuses in Scotland which has resulted in a campaign to entirely ban the sport in Scotland. It is beyond redemption; it is said by animal advocates such as Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation.

  • The Greyhound Board of Great Britain reported 18,345 dogs injured for the period 2017-2020. Over the same period there were 3,000 deaths of racing greyhounds. The reason is that they race at 40 mph around a very tight oval and the whole process is very risky. My understanding is that greyhound racing is inherently dangerous to these animals which begs the question as to why it exists. Why isn’t it illegal, in the UK, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006? That act is meant to protect animals but apparently it doesn’t in this instance.
  • In Scotland there is one regulated racetrack and the other is unregulated. At the regulated track there were 197 injuries and 15 deaths over the period 2017-2020. There is no data for the unregulated racetrack. But because it is unregulated there is bound to be at least an equivalent number of injuries and deaths.
  • There is a lack of regulation in Scotland to protect the dogs from injury, death and doping.
  • The lack of regulation at the unregulated racetrack means that there is no vet present and no one to administer first aid in the event of an injury.
  • Drug testing occurs at Shawfield, the regulated racetrack, but only in 2% the races.
  • The tests revealed 13 dogs tested positive in the period 2018 2019. Five of the dogs had cocaine in their system.
  • The regulatory system isn’t working because when doping does occur it is not revealed by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain for several months. It also goes unreported to police and the Scottish SPCA.
  • It is claimed by Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation that dogs often suffer “deep psychological trauma”.
  • It is claimed that the industry is beyond reform.
  • When the working life of a racing greyhound is over, every year, in the UK, one in eight greyhounds disappears with some dogs being sold for research and dissection, the League Against Cruel Sports claims. I have seen a television programme showing a farmer pushing along a wheelbarrow full of dead greyhounds to bury them. Clearly this farmer was processing racing greyhounds who were no longer useful. These are the ones to disappear. Of course, some are rehomed in nice homes where they are tenderly cared for but far too many are abused during their working lives and at the end of it, they are discarded.
  • Hundreds of dogs, mostly greyhounds, housed for the sole purpose of draining their blood

The GBGB defend themselves by saying that the protection of racing greyhounds goes “far beyond what is afforded to domestic dogs in the UK. As the regulator, we closely monitor the welfare of all GBGB registered greyhounds and have a zero-tolerance approach.”