Dogs Trust has said it is “extremely disappointed” at the Government’s “weak stance” on legislating for improvements to greyhound welfare.
The call comes as Defra published its Post Implementation Review of the 2010 Greyhounds Regulations, which Dogs Trust said it hoped would include the requirement to publish essential data on injury, euthanasia and rehoming.
According to the charity, it had long campaigned for a review of the legislation and is, therefore, “dismayed” to find not only that minimal changes have been considered, but that these are also unlikely to come into place until 2018 at the earliest.
Previously – in a report hailed by Dogs Trust as a “big step forward” for greyhound welfare – the environment, food and rural affairs (EFRA) committee had echoed Dogs Trust’s own concerns surrounding the self-regulation of the industry, recommending a probationary period of two years’ continued self-regulation.
The report also recommended the regulations be extended to cover trainers’ kennels.
Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said: “We are deeply concerned that not only has Defra failed to take heed of expert advice from welfare charities and the EFRA committee, but it has even ignored the results of its own consultation on the initial findings of the Review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010.
“The Government is not treating this issue with the severity it deserves – its proposed changes are minimal and lack the urgency needed to improve the industry.
“We have long campaigned, and will continue to campaign, tirelessly to ensure these much-needed changes to improve and regulate greyhound welfare are implemented.”
Dogs Trust, which took in 200 ex-racing greyhounds in 2015, said it believes about 3,500 greyhounds are unaccounted for every year in the UK, but as statistics are not published by the industry, the true number is “difficult to assess”.