racing greyhounds

More than 300 racing greyhounds died last year

More than 300 racing greyhounds died last year in the UK and 4,354 injuries to dogs were recorded, according to new data.

The official figures came from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) and reveal that between 2018 and 2022, a total of 22,284 injuries were recorded and 2,718 greyhounds died, from a variety of causes.

The GBGB said 306 greyhounds were put to sleep or died naturally in 2022, compared to 932 in 2018, representing a reduction of 67 per cent. The GBGB says it takes animal welfare issues seriously and is committed to reducing deaths and injuries.

But critics called the figures “appalling” and a coalition of animal welfare organisations is urging the Scottish Government to phase out Scotland’s dog racing industry. 

The Ferret last year revealed that 15 greyhounds died and 197 injuries to animals were recorded at Shawfield Stadium, Glasgow, between 2017 and 2020.

We also reported that greyhounds trained or racing in Scotland tested positive for banned drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine dozens of times.

demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our racing greyhounds.

Mark Bird, Greyhound Board of Great Britain

In March this year, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission recommended that no new greyhound tracks should be permitted in Scotland due to animal welfare concerns.

No racing has taken place at Shawfield Stadium following the pandemic.

But dog racing will continue at the last remaining Scottish track in Thornton, Fife, despite calls for a ban, prompting a coalition of groups to launch a fresh campaign this month to end greyhound racing in Scotland.

The Unbound the Greyhound coalition includes OneKind, Say No To Greyhound Racing in Scotland, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation, the League Against Cruel Sports, Hope Rescue, and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

Commenting on the GBGB’s latest figures, a spokesperson for Unbound the Greyhound claimed the “appalling high number of dog deaths and injuries” further proves that “the industry is incapable of self-regulation”. 

They added: “Despite committing to reduce track injuries five years ago, GBGB has failed to meet this commitment. In all years, except 2020 when tracks were temporarily shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since that commitment was made the injury rate has been higher than in 2018. 

“Each of these dogs is, or sadly was, an individual, with their own characteristics and personalities. Greyhound racing poses an inherent risk to animal welfare.”

No animals should have to suffer this way, and no dog is expendable simply for the pleasure of watching spectators.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Greens

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell, who has been campaigning for a phase out of greyhound racing, described the number of greyhounds dying at racetracks as “shocking”. 

He added: “What is worse, the growing number of those being injured despite there being fewer races is extremely worrying, and proves this activity is just not safe. 

“These injuries are exactly the cause of suffering, lower quality of life, and animals being left homeless because they can no longer be exploited for gambling. No animals should have to suffer this way, and no dog is expendable simply for the pleasure of watching spectators. It is barbaric, outdated, and should be phased out.”

Mark Bird, chief executive of GBGB, said the new data “demonstrates the significant improvements we have achieved in welfare” over the past few years. “It shows that the approach licensed racing is taking is the right one and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our racing
greyhounds,” he added.

“Over the past year, we have begun the roll-out of our ambitious welfare strategy and it is fantastic that a number of initiatives are already underway and delivering benefits – particularly around our enhanced veterinary resources. I would like to thank everyone across the sport who has supported
our strategy and has played their part in its implementation.”

Photo credit: iStock/PixelAxel

  1. That figure is laughable mabey 300 during a race !!!!! Thousands and thousands get beat to death or shot , mabey stabbed , if they dont run fast enough or chsse or kill the hares in training !!!!!! This 300 is nothing but laughable!!!!!

    Like Fox Huntimg legislation means nothing , you can’t legislate something where the animal from birth is worth money so if it fails it will be killed regardless of legislation !!!!!!

    Very VERY disappointing and nieve read , shame on you !!!!!

    What’s your next story , fox hunting finally illegal in UK lol

  2. I raced greyhounds for over 60 years and never have I seen any greyhounds in my care been ill treated . What I see in England dog tracks
    Now in 2024 where dogs are seeded rails. Middle. Wide. Dogs running rails are running of at bends middle dogs are running all over the place and dogs seeded wide are running rails not to the first bend but up back straight and even in home straight this is where injuries are causing our greyhounds bad injuries never back in 50 s 60s or 70 did you see this then I don’t think their is this amount these animal rights are saying tens of thousands carbage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi! To read more you need to login.
Not a member yet? Join our co-operative now to get unlimited access.
You can join using Direct Debit, payment card or Paypal. Cancel at any time. If you are on a low-income you may be eligible for a free sponsored membership. Having trouble logging in? Try here.
Hi! To read more you need to login.
Not a member yet?
Hi! You can login using the form below.
Not registered yet?
Having trouble logging in? Try here.