#Animal Welfare
United Kingdom

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 has been over a decade in the making. It came into force on April 6th 2007 and is a very wide-ranging piece of legislation providing a general framework for the protection of animals.

However, even though it makes specific provisions for certain animals, it only provides secondary legislation for greyhounds. As a result of concerns expressed during the Parliamentary debates on the Animal Welfare Bill, the government has promised to improve the regulation of the greyhound racing industry. New arrangements are scheduled to be in place by 2009 to provide further protection for ex-racing greyhounds.

Therefore, this is a very important time for greyhound welfare as there has never been a better opportunity to influence and achieve proper welfare provisions for ex-racing greyhounds in this country.

The Alliance of Independent Greyhound Rescues (AIGR) has been formed to allow independent charities to speak with one voice to try to exert the maximum influence for the good of the dogs. They have this one chance to influence the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to come up with decent regulations. Between us, independent charities rescue a large number of greyhounds every year and spend many thousands of pounds clearing up the mess made by the industry. We are entitled to be heard.

At present, the Government looks inclined to go along with the Racing Industry and opt for self-regulation with minimal regulations.

The fact is that, regardless of legislation, there are now more unwanted greyhounds than Tia and other independent charities can ever rescue. The numbers must be cut if things are to improve in the future. In the first four months of 2007, Tia has taken thirty strays mainly from the Yorkshire and Lancashire Pounds, with Tia usually having to arrange collection of the dogs themselves. The National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) are now investigating all of the greyhounds Tia have rescued which were stray under Rule 18.

Many charities do not have an ongoing relationship with pounds in their areas. This is regrettable because they will probably be putting greyhounds to sleep. However, they are not obliged to co-operate with charities. Some are good and others are bad in terms of welfare and in making information on stray greyhounds available.

It would be invaluable if all pounds were required to keep a record of the earmarks of the greyhounds they deal with.

We the undersigned ask that the Government do NOT go along with the Racing Industry to opt for self-regulation with minimal regulations due to the widespread and unnecessary suffering of greyhounds.

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The Change the Law to save Greyhounds petition to DEFRA, GOVERNMENT, DOG RACING was written by nicola and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.