Greyhound racing ban wins Senedd Committee backing
A campaign to end greyhound racing in Wales has won the support of Members of the Senedd, as calls grow for Wales to take the lead over other countries in the UK.
The Hope Rescue charity presented its petition of 35,101 signatures to the Senedd as part of a growing movement calling for a UK-wide ban of the sport.
In a report published today (Thursday 15 December) the majority of the Senedd’s Petitions Committee gave its support to a phased ban of greyhound racing in Wales, along with a further four recommendations for the Welsh Government on the future of the sport in Wales.
The Committee agree that the Welsh Government should prioritise steps to improve welfare standards for the whole life of the animals – as pups, racers and in retirement – whatever the future holds for the sport.
This would improve conditions for dogs bred here for racing as well as those travelling through the country to compete elsewhere.
An outright ban on greyhound racing in Wales was supported by four out of five Committee Members, but improving welfare was the priority for everyone, Committee Chair, Jack Sargeant MS said.
“After considering the evidence we gathered from speaking to animal charities and the greyhound racing industry, including the steps already taken and planned to improve animal welfare, the majority conclusion of the Committee is to support a ban on greyhound racing,” Mr Sargeant said.
“Our number one priority has been the wellbeing of greyhounds and that was always our first reference point as we explored the issues raised by Hope Rescue in their petition. We are very grateful to everyone who contributed to our work and in particular to the petitioners who worked to get such a large number of signatures.
“While one Member could not support a ban, we are all agreed that the Welsh Government should consider all options when consulting on future arrangements, to ensure that the welfare of greyhounds is paramount – at all stages of their lives.”
Vanessa Waddon, Senior Head of Operations at Hope Rescue added: “At Hope Rescue we have witnessed first-hand just how dangerous greyhound racing is, with dogs routinely injured or even killed. The industry also deliberately creates thousands of surplus dogs once they finish racing and expect animal welfare organisations to rescue their “wastage”.
“We are delighted that the Petitions Committee agrees with us that greyhound racing has no place in a compassionate Wales that cares about animal welfare.
“The Petitions Committee reports sends a clear message to Welsh Government – and the greyhound racing industry – that it’s time to cut the chase and phase out greyhound racing in Wales.”
Wales is one of only 10 countries in the world where commercial greyhound racing still takes place legally.
Only one greyhound racing track currently operates in Wales – The Valley Greyhound Stadium in Ystrad Mynach – and races occur there once a week.
Hope Rescue is a charity working across six local authorities in south Wales. The charity take in, take care and rehome stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs including retired and injured animals from the greyhound racing industry.
The Senedd Petition calling for a ban on greyhound racing in Wales collected a total of 35,101 signatures from all corners of the world – 18,707 of these were from Wales.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.