Hope Rescue welcomes the launch of the new Code of Practice for the welfare of racing greyhounds in Wales produced by the Animal Welfare Network for Wales.
We look forward to the day that no greyhound is put at risk of injury by racing on a greyhound track. We are firmly anti-racing. However we are also pro-welfare and have developed a ground-breaking partnership with our local track and other animal welfare organisations which seeks to provide a rescue space for any injured or routinely surrendered greyhound.
This unique partnership project has seen 117 routine surrenders and 29 injured dogs coming into our care via the trainers at the track since April 2018. Some of the greyhounds have remained with Hope Rescue but most have then moved on to our rescue partners which include Dogs Trust, Battersea, Forever Hounds Trust, Cheltenham Animal Shelter, Gables Farm and Greyhound Rescue Wales.
The high number of injured dogs is obviously a concern for us both in terms of welfare and the resources needed to treat them, and we share the AWNW's hope that the industry will adopt the Code to meet the needs of greyhounds used for racing. The code includes up-to-date science and key steps which racing track operators should take to meet the needs of competing greyhounds.
Guidance includes the training of greyhounds, management at the track, vet attendance at meetings, dog breeding, transportation, biosecurity and sale. The advice is intended to ensure their welfare needs are sufficiently met throughout a dog's involvement in the greyhound racing industry.
Alain Thomas, Chair of the AWNW greyhound working group says:
"Ultimately the AWNW is proud to have published a comprehensive guide that will drive up welfare standards and ensure a safer, more compassionate and welfare-friendly environment for these beautiful animals when racing and competing in the industry."