The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has ‘condemned’ the practices highlighted in a government report into greyhound racing in New South Wales, a state of affairs that has seen the sport banned from the Australian state.
The Special Commission of Inquiry found ‘overwhelming evidence’ of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting – a practice that involves training dogs to chase live animals attached to the mechanical ‘hare’ that travels the edge of the track.
The inquiry found that between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds – or at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed uncompetitive, leaving the NSW Government to dramatically announce the closure of the sport as of next year on welfare grounds.
UK greyhound racing has faced its own welfare challenges in recent years and the GBGB has been under pressure to up standards in the sport or risk being regulated.
The body has issued a response to the developments in Australia, underlining the standards that it expects to see in the sport.
The statement said: “The GBGB notes the decision of the New South Wales government to shut down greyhound racing following a Special Commission inquiry into the sport in the state.
“The GBGB is totally committed to providing robust and effective regulation and governance to ensure the welfare of greyhounds under its authority and will continue to work closely with Defra and recognised animal welfare charities. The GBGB condemns the practices highlighted in Michael McHugh’s report and will take firm action against any person who deliberately undermines the good reputation of licensed greyhound racing in Britain.”
The GBGB said it was committed to introduce enhanced welfare measures agreed during Defra’s review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations 2010.
It added: “The welfare of greyhounds is at the heart of the GBGB’s ethos and emphasises the importance of adequate funding for the greyhound industry to ensure that GBGB can deliver the highest standards of welfare and integrity.”