Rebecca Harris MP and other MPs attended a House of Commons event organised by a number of animal welfare organisations to discuss the grave and pressing need to improve Greyhound welfare in the UK. 19 MPs, including Rebecca Harris, attended the session in Westminster, hosted by Angela Smith MP together with the welfare members of the Greyhound Forum, in support of stronger regulation to protect racing Greyhounds. The Forum’s nine welfare organisations united to share their disappointment over the Government’s inaction to amend the 2010 Regulations to the detriment of the welfare of racing Greyhounds involved in the sport. The welfare members are calling on the Government to take the following actions:
- Publish essential welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming numbers as soon as possible
- Extend the 2010 Regulations to cover trainers’ kennels.
- Apply greater pressure to bookmakers to ensure they invest a fair reflection of their profits into welfare.
Welfare organisations believe that approximately 3,500 Greyhounds are unaccounted for every year in the UK, but as statistics are not currently published by the industry the true scale of the problem is difficult to assess.
Rebecca explains: “Animal welfare is an important issue amongst my constituents and as an animal lover myself I believe it is essential that welfare is prioritised in the industry. I have been very interested to hear the concerns surrounding the industry and along with the welfare members of the Greyhound Forum I am calling for more to be done to safeguard Greyhound welfare.”
Clarissa Baldwin, Chair of the Greyhound Forum explains: “We are delighted to see the support of so many MPs. It goes to show that Greyhound welfare is high on the agenda for MPs and their constituents. As so many of us consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers it’s outrageous that so little is being done by our Government to ensure that welfare in the industry is prioritised. The welfare members of the Forum are calling for regulations to be amended to require the publication of essential welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming. The Government will rely on a non-regulatory agreement with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain to publish statistics from 2018. We also see no justification for the data not to be published until 2018. We hope MPs will work with us to put pressure on the Government to treat the grave issue of Greyhound welfare with the urgency and severity it deserves”.