Cross-party group of MSs backs campaign to ban greyhound racing in Wales
A cross party group of MSs have released a statement backing the Welsh charity coalition which is campaigning to end greyhound racing to mark National Greyhound Day tomorrow (2 June).
The Cut The Chase coalition is made up of Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Hope Rescue and RSPCA, who joined forces last year to campaign for a phased end to greyhound racing.
During a debate in the Senedd in March this year, wide ranging support was given by politicians from across the political spectrum to bring an end to greyhound racing.
This followed a petition launched by Hope Rescue, which attained over 35,000 signatures and a report from the Senedd’s Petitions Committee, in which a majority of Committee Members announced support for greyhound racing coming to an end in Wales.
The Statement of Opinion hosted on the Senedd website has been published ahead of National Greyhound Day and says:
- Notes the Senedd petition signed by 18,707 people from Wales, calling for a ban on greyhound racing in Wales
- Recognises the cross-party support in the Senedd and among the Welsh public for an end to greyhound racing in Wales
- Believes that the risk of injury and death to racing greyhounds for the purposes of entertainment are unjustifiable
- Recognises that there are welfare issues that affect racing greyhounds at every stage of their lives; from cradle to grave
- Encourages the Welsh Government to bring forward legislation to end greyhound racing in Wales
Carolyn Thomas MS (North Wales – Welsh Labour), Jane Dodds MS (Mid and West Wales – Welsh Liberal Democrats), Janet Finch-Saunders MS (Aberconwy – Welsh Conservative), Peredur Owen Griffiths MS (South Wales East – Plaid Cymru) and Buffy Williams MS (Rhondda – Welsh Labour) are among the Members of the Senedd who have backed the joint statement.
A spokesperson for the Cut The Chase Welsh Coalition said: “This National Greyhound Day is the perfect opportunity to draw together the strength of voices in the Senedd and the animal welfare sector. We hope to raise awareness for why this industry must end to protect dogs, who have no choice but to take part in dangerous events where welfare is regularly compromised in the name of public entertainment.
“The Welsh Government has listened to the evidence from a wealth of experts in the animal welfare sector and has a unique opportunity here to establish that in 2023 scrutiny will be taken to ensure no more dogs suffer. Now is the time for Welsh residents to band together and back the message to cut the chase and protect the welfare of all racing greyhounds in Wales.”
A rival petition in support of greyhound racing in Wales was launched in March and has reached its target of 10,000 signatures in just six weeks, meaning it will now be considered for a debate in the Senedd.
The petition was launched by Valley Greyhound Stadium in Ystrad Mynach to counter opposition to greyhound racing.
Defending greyhound racing, Malcom Tams, of Valley Greyhound Stadium, said: “ “Racing greyhounds are the fastest of the sighthound breeds with an urge to fulfil their passion for the thrill of competitive chase.
“We understand their needs and our team at the Valley constantly strives to provide the highest standard of animal welfare by maintaining a safe environment for our greyhounds.
Wales is one of only ten countries in the world – including all other UK nations – where commercial greyhound racing takes place.
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