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Future Is Bleak For Greyhounds And Lurchers [11/11/2003]

A shocking new report looking at what happens to racing greyhounds and lurchers after their active lives are over has uncovered a catalogue of cruelty and neglect.

For many years there have been grave concerns about these dogs' welfare after their working lives have ended. It has long been thought that many were killed or abandoned, but until now, there have been no figures available.

Now the report, suggests that as many as 600 greyhounds in Wales and 12,000 in Britain as a whole could be killed or discarded after their racing career is over. It calls for new controls on independent greyhound racing and for the industry to take full responsibility for the welfare of greyhounds by helping to raise funds to care for retired dogs and by taking effective action to stamp out abuse.

Entitled 'The Fate of Racing Greyhounds and Working Lurchers in Wales', the report was commissioned by the All Party Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) in the National Assembly for Wales. Lorraine Barrett, chair of APGAW, said: "This report is confirmation of the terrible truth we've suspected for a number of years. For the first time, we have some solid evidence to back the calls for something to be done to prevent the numbers of greyhounds either being killed or abandoned. This report is an excellent example

RSPCA veterinary spokesperson, David McDowell said: There is no justification for abandoning or killing these animals simply because they can't do their job anymore. An animal should be the owner's responsibility for life not just until they've reached the end of their usefulness. We hope that there can be some positive steps taken as a result of this. It is imperative that the industry finally admits there is a problem and works with welfare organisations to look at ways at tackling this as a matter of urgency.

Karen Thomas, Chair of Greyhound Rescue Wales, said: This report highlights the very real problem that greyhounds and lurchers face once their working lives end. We know of incidents where dogs have been dumped with their ears cut off to avoid identification. We urge authorities to take this problem seriously now and bring in measures to improve the future for these poor dogs.

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