Racing communities urged to back campaign in support of greyhound racing in Wales

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Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, updates racegoers on progress to oppose the campaign against greyhound racing in the UK

Four months have passed since we wrote an open letter to the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross demanding them to publish evidence behind their campaign against greyhound racing.

It should surprise no one connected to our sport that – despite repeated calls – none of the three charities in support of banning greyhound racing have responded to our letter.

In addition, comprehensive evidence which they claim highlights serious welfare concerns at all stages of the lives of racing greyhounds in the care of GBGB licensed trainers is still yet to be seen.

It is in the interest of their campaign and their stance on welfare to release this evidence. Will we ever see it? I very much doubt it.

READ MORE: An open letter to the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross

Their campaign lacks credibility, is littered with concerning knowledge gaps and is being desperately pedalled by fabricating information and releasing outright lies to the media.

The RSPCA’s tactics have been particularly disgusting and fringe on the boarders of extremism. They used the tragic circumstances of a sighthound found dumped in Gloucestershire as an opportunity to discredit our sport by labelling the dog as a greyhound.

Photographs released of the deceased dog clearly show this was not the case. Articles have since been amended following outcry from the greyhound community, yet no apology has been issued by the charity.

READ MORE: The amended ITV West Country article

On Wednesday, March 8, Senedd – Welsh Parliament – will debate whether greyhound racing in Wales should be banned after an online petition against the sport gathered 35,101 signatures.

Personally, I’m doubtful members will pursue an outright ban. However, next week’s debate should ring serious alarm bells among racing communities and those who are engaged with sports whereby animals are at risk of sustaining an injury of any kind by participating.

That includes greyhound racing, horse racing, show jumping, lure coursing, fishing, dog agility, polo, flyball and canicross. Anyone engaged with these sports should be backing the petition for the Welsh Government to support greyhound racing on its land.

Here’s why.

RSPCA Cymru is urging Wales’ decision-makers to support the outright ban of greyhound racing. Their key reasoning behind this stance is that the sport is “inherently dangerous” and “causes significant injury to many dogs”.

We will forever respect that greyhound racing is not a sport for everyone. However, injuries and fatalities are not – and never will be – exclusive to greyhound racing.

If the RSPCA is to be consistent in its argument that animal-based sports which risk “causing significant injury” to participants should be banned, they will not stop at greyhound racing.

We believe all the mentioned sports are at risk, horse racing especially. Trainer Fergal O’Brien and his team have been fantastic in voicing their support against the campaign to ban greyhound racing.

But silence from the remainder of the horse racing community is concerning and many of the sport’s enthusiasts – in our opinion – are sleepwalking into the unknown. Tracks including Chepstow, Ffos Las and Bangor plus Welsh trainers and owners should be publicly opposing the campaign.


Greyhound racing boasts the greatest transparency of any animal-based sport in the world. Our rehoming, injury and fatality statistics are there for all to see.

Furthermore, our sport has never had it better regarding welfare. It’s all thanks to the launch of ground-breaking new schemes by the GBGB concerning retirement, injury recovery and the health of greyhounds before, during and after their racing careers.

So why is it the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross decide to oppose our sport now?

We appreciate social change forms part of an evolving world. Ironically, when the RSPCA was actively engaged with greyhound racing several years ago, they may have had a genuine case for the sport to be banned.

But like society, we’ve adapted our operation and made change for the better.

For the sake of everyone who experiences joy with animals through sport and participation at either elite or amateur level, sign the petition.

And remember, if you are at all concerned or would like to learn more about the outstanding welfare measures applied in regulated greyhound racing in the UK, please visit Oxford Stadium where we will happily demonstrate how loved and cared for these dogs are.

Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium MD.

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