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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Bill to Ban Greyhound Racing to be Introduced in The New Year

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A campaigning MSP who has called for a ban on greyhound racing in Scotland is to bring a Bill to the Scottish Parliament in the New Year, it can be revealed.

Mark Ruskell will move legislation that would make it illegal to hold races and signal the end for Scotland’s last remaining dog track at Thornton in Fife.

The Scottish Greens MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife has been working together with animal welfare charities including the Scottish SPCA, One Kind and others in exposing the cruelty animals suffer in being forced to compete on dog tracks.

It culminated in a report by the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission which recommended no new tracks should be permitted on welfare grounds.

Data showed 17,930 recorded injuries among registered greyhounds and 2,412 deaths between 2018 and 2021 across the UK. 

Mr Ruskell said:

“This cruel practice has no place in modern Scotland, greyhound racing is beyond reform and it’s time to bring it finally to an end. 

“All the evidence is there, from the deaths and the injuries to the investigations of those who champion animal welfare every day.

“The inherent risks of racing dogs at 40 mph around a curved track are too great, it’s dangerous and unethical.

“Yet still there are some who refuse to accept that their race is run.

“Therefore I am compelled to introduce a Bill at the Scottish Parliament that will bring in new laws to phase the races out.

“We cannot stand idly by and allow greyhounds to die, be injured or left abandoned.

“It is time to take action and I hope MSP colleagues will fully support my Bill.”

Earlier this month Mr Ruskell met with Scottish Government colleagues to discuss the best way of progressing the Bill, and will share details of its contents in the coming months through a consultation.

The First Minister has already agreed he would consider calls for a ban on greyhound racing.

In May Mr Ruskell welcomed calls by leading animal charities including the Scottish SPCA, Royal SPCA, One Kind and The Dogs Trust, urging a phasing out of greyhound racing when they gave evidence at Holyrood’s Rural Affairs and Islands Committee. 

Evidence presented detailed risk of injury to greyhounds racing around oval shaped tracks at 40mph, failure of progress by industry bodies and the number of deaths suffered by dogs.

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