Petition launched in support of greyhound racing in Wales gains thousands of signatures
A petition in support of greyhound racing in Wales has gained close to 8,000 signatures since its launch last month.
The petition, created by the only greyhound stadium in Wales, needs to reach 10,000 signatures to be considered for a full debate in the Senedd.
Valley Greyhound Stadium launched the petition to counter opposition to greyhound racing and demonstrate the strength of support for the sport.
Calls to end greyhound racing received cross-party support at the Senedd earlier this month as the Welsh Government committed to consult on a possible ban.
The Hope Rescue charity first presented a petition of 35,101 signatures to the Senedd in December as part of a growing movement calling for a UK-wide ban of the sport.
The campaign won the backing of Members of the Senedd and support has since grown for Wales to take the lead over introducing a ban.
The RSPCA hailed the Welsh Government’s consultation on phasing out greyhound racing as a “huge moment’ for dog welfare”.
Valley Greyhound Stadium’s petition highlights work at the track towards becoming regulated, which it claims would bring additional welfare benefits, as well as significant economic benefits to the local area.
Malcom Tams of Valley Greyhound Stadium said: “We have an ambitious goal to become licensed to race under the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s regulations as soon as the planned developments are completed and necessary criteria are met at the Valley Greyhound Stadium.
“This will mean we would operate under their well-established Rules of Racing, which uphold world-leading standards of welfare and integrity.
“The racing facilities at the Valley are under a process of continuous review and upgrading as part of our ongoing commitment to high standards of greyhound welfare. Through measures such as a track redesign to widen the bends and track, repositioning of the lure to an underground model, newly built GBGB specification kennels and a dedicated vet’s room for the onsite vet during race meetings, the Valley aims to be an exemplar of best practice when hosting greyhound racing and showcasing greyhound welfare in Wales.
“It is clear from the messages of support that we have received at the Valley Greyhound Stadium that greyhound racing enthusiasts in their thousands – both locally and from across the world – strongly value the sport.”
Wales is one of only ten countries in the world – including all other UK nations – where commercial greyhound racing takes place.
RSPCA welfare experts fear greyhounds are needlessly placed at serious risk of painful injuries and death when competing in organised greyhound racing.
Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals department said: “This is a huge moment for dog welfare – with the Welsh Government committing to a consultation on cutting the chase, by phasing out greyhound racing in Wales.
“With no vets at the track in Wales, and no requirement to publish statistics on injuries or deaths, it’s hard to gauge the true scale of welfare problems caused by greyhound racing in Wales.
“However, so long as this sport is allowed to continue, dogs are needlessly put at risk of serious injury and death all in the name of entertainment.”
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