Battersea concerned Government Greyhound Welfare Review is a missed opportunity


Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has today criticised the Government's long awaited Post-Implementation Review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010. 
Peter Laurie, Battersea's Director of Operations, commented:
"This report was the perfect opportunity for the Government to improve the welfare of the nation’s racing Greyhounds yet it represents a very disappointing missed opportunity. 
“Whilst the requirements of the Regulations have undoubtedly delivered some notable welfare improvements in the five years since their introduction, Battersea has argued throughout this long process that they do not go far enough. 
“Now we know they will continue to fail to safeguard vital welfare standards at trainers’ kennels, where Greyhounds spend 95% of their time. This means the racing industry can still operate shrouded in secrecy, lacking the transparency we could have reasonably expected of a major sporting industry, whose animals generate millions of pounds in bookmaker receipts.
“Battersea is deeply concerned that Defra appears content to rely on “non-regulatory” (and therefore non-binding) agreements with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) to deliver required improvements in these key areas. These agreements do not even extend to the “independent” tracks where the prospect of welfare improvement is now even more remote. 
“Only time will tell whether GBGB will honour its commitments but with no prospect of publication of data until 2018 and no firm commitments that Regulation will follow, it is hard to be optimistic."
This year alone Battersea has taken in 62 Greyhounds in need of a loving home across its three centres in London, Brands Hatch and Old Windsor, compared to a total of 42 in 2015. Peter Laurie also confirmed that Battersea will continue to work with other welfare charities to monitor the situation and encourage Defra to consider amendments to the Regulations to ensure all racing Greyhounds, regardless of where they are trained or race, are afforded due welfare protection.

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Notes to editors

  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.  
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats. 
  • In 2015 the Home cared for over 8000 dogs and cats. 
  • Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time. 
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • In 2015 27% of dogs and 30% of cats arrived as strays. 
  • A team of over 1200 volunteers help at Battersea’s three centres, in roles including dog and cat socialising, gardening, admin support and giving talks in the community. 
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent. 
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehomes dogs and cats all over the UK. 
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no central government funding towards the care of its dogs and cats and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats.