Consultation on the initial findings of the Review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010

Closed 31 Dec 2015

Opened 6 Nov 2015

Overview

The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations came into force on 6 April 2010 and have been in force now for five years.  The Government, in line with its commitment to review all new regulations after they have been in force for a period of time, is undertaking a review of their effectiveness.  

The original objectives of the Regulations were to ensure that all greyhound tracks in England were covered by the same minimum welfare standards and the traceability of racing greyhounds was improved.

Defra is reviewing the Regulations to establish whether, and to what extent:

  • the Regulations have achieved their original objectives;
  • the objectives and scope of the Regulations are still valid; and
  • regulation is still the best option for achieving those objectives.   

However, this is not a review of the wider greyhound racing industry and we are not consulting on whether greyhound racing should be banned.

To help focus this consultation, Defra has undertaken and commissioned research to gather evidence on the effectiveness of the Regulations and their impact on greyhound welfare.   Evidence was collected, in the form of the experiences of relevant stakeholders from across the industry, from track operators and track vets, to re-homing organisations and welfare groups.   The research has been collated into one report – which is the main reference document for this consultation – ‘Exploring Effectiveness of Racing Greyhounds Legislation (2010)’. 

While a number of common areas of concern emerged, the report also found that “participants did feel that the regulations positively impacted on the welfare of greyhounds”    

Why We Are Consulting

This consultation seeks views on the initial findings of the review as set out in the report.

Based on these findings and Ministerial discussions with the GBGB, the consultation also sets out possible practicable options for further action to address the issues raised. This consultation stage is an opportunity for anyone to comment on the findings, options and submit any further evidence.

We are not consulting on whether greyhound racing should be banned.  The Government does not believe that the problems identified in the initial findings are insurmountable.  The Government has no plans to ban greyhound racing.  Neither has the government any plans to set up its own statutory regulatory body.   Introducing a new body may well require primary legislation and certainly public funding.  Due to the relatively small number of tracks and the steps that have already been, and are being,  taken by the industry we do not believe that it would be proportionate to introduce a new statutory body and we are not consulting on that as an option in this consultation.

What Happens Next

This consultation is an opportunity for all interested parties to scrutinise and comment on the initial findings of the Review so far, offering any other evidence either in support of the findings or by way of challenge to them.  The consultation is also an opportunity for all interested parties to comment and, if needed, supply evidence on some of the possible options for further action. 

After the consultation has concluded we will publish a summary of the responses received.  We will also analyse all the responses, together with the initial findings, to produce a final Post Implementation Review document.  This document will set out how effective we believe the Regulations have been, whether they are still required, and, if so, if there is need for any amendments plus any other proposals for further action.  

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Vets
  • Local Authorities
  • Business/Private Sector
  • SME businesses
  • Leisure industry
  • Trading Standards Officers
  • Environmental Health Officers

Interests

  • Animals
  • Animal welfare
  • Pets