Unbound the Greyhound Add your name to the open letter

HELP US PUT AN END TO DOG RACING IN SCOTLAND

Scotland's greyhound racing industry is on its last legs with just one, unlicensed, track remaining in Scotland.

Polling also reveals that the majority of Scots want to see the Scottish Government put an end to this cruel industry, that involves the deaths and injuries of dogs, amputations and doping.

The Scottish Government is considering what action to take on greyhound racing and a committee in Parliament is conducting an inquiry on the issue, following a petition (the most signed in Scottish parliamentary history) lodged by coalition member Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE).

Please add your name to the open letter calling for an end to greyhound racing in Scotland, through a phase out of the industry.

You do not need to be based in Scotland to sign.

Learn more about the campaign.

Open Letter

Dear Cabinet Secretary, 

We, the undersigned, are writing to urge you to take the necessary steps to implement a phase out of greyhound racing in Scotland. The dog racing industry is rife with welfare issues and has no place in a modern Scotland.  

> Read the full letter

We are appalled that Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s injury and retirement data reveals that 2412 greyhounds died in total, and 17,930 injuries were recorded between 2018-2021. Of the 2,412 dogs that died, 645 of those were destroyed not for medical reasons, but because their treatment was deemed too expensive, they were homeless, designated ‘unsuitable for homing’, or, effectively, surplus to requirements. These figures are shocking. We are also greatly concerned that these statistics do not include any figures from the unlicensed Thornton racing track in Fife, as this is completely unregulated. 

We are also aware that many greyhounds used by the racing industry are kept in kennels, in conditions which do not allow the dogs to thrive. In the worst instances, dogs can live in dank, dirty kennels, suffer from untreated wounds and injuries, receive inadequate veterinary care, and be shouted at or roughly treated. We are also shocked that dogs in the racing industry, including at Glasgow’s former Shawfield Stadium, have been doped with performance-enhancing drugs, including class A substances.  

Greyhounds are one of the dog breeds more susceptible to heat stroke, yet raced greyhounds were forced to race during the 2022 heatwaves, when the UK public was strongly advised to keep their dogs indoors to avoid heatstroke and potential lethal consequences.  

But the long-term impact of the industry on these sensitive, lazy dogs does not stop there. When rescued, greyhounds can be overwhelmed by the sounds, smells, people, and other animals living in the world outside of the racing industry. Many will not have been adequately socialised and as a result may be nervous around other dogs. Separation anxiety can be commonplace at first, and for some is lifelong, with the dogs terrified to be left alone. Poor dental hygiene is also common in dogs rescued from the industry, with some dogs being left with no teeth at all.  

Recent polling shows that the majority of Scots (60%) are in favour of a phase out to greyhound racing and 91.7% of those who responded to the Rural Affairs and Island Committee’s call to views on Petition PE1758: End Greyhound Racing in Scotland also responded in favour of a ban on greyhound racing in Scotland. This was the 5th most signed petition in the history of the Scottish Parliament. It is clear that the Scottish public do not support this cruel industry. 

We, as a nation of animal lovers, cannot allow an industry filled with such suffering to continue. We urge the Scottish Government to lead the way in putting an end to dog racing. We look forward to your response. 

Celebrity signatories

✓ Chris Packham, Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist

✓ Peter Egan, Actor

Lucy Watson, TV Personality

✓ David Olusoga, Presenter, Historian and Writer

✓ Megan McCubbin, Zoologist and TV Presenter

✓ Barney Greenway, Vocalist of Napalm Death

✓ Carol Royle, Actor

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We are a coalition of 9 animal welfare groups working to end greyhound racing in Scotland. The coalition includes campaigning charities, rehoming centres, grassroots groups and an all-party parliamentary group.