Calls to End Greyhound Racing in Scotland Raised After Cocaine Detected in Dogs

Campaigners from Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (Sage) asked the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Islands, and Natural Environment Committee to call for a complete ban on Greyhound racing following reports that some dogs were drugged with illegal substances such as cocaine. 

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) reported that an estimated 18,345 dogs had been injured from racing in the UK, with more than 3,000 deaths from 2017 to 2020.

Sage spokesperson Gill Docherty blamed the lack of regulation to protect the animals from injury, death, and doping.

“‘The lack of regulation [at Thornton] means there is no vet present at any of the races, and that would mean there’s no administration of first aid or pain relief to dogs that are injured.

Earlier tests reports revealed that 13 dogs were positive for doping from 2018 to 2019 — with Class A drug cocaine found in five dogs.

“Fundamentally, we cannot ignore the inherent risks of greyhound racing itself. These risks are present whether the track is regulated or unregulated. They cannot be mitigated against with welfare measures or cleverly named initiatives,” Docherty said.

Scottish Greens MSP, Mark Ruskell, backed the petition, which received 130,159 signatures.

Ruskell said that the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which places a duty of care on animal owners to protect them from suffering, does not go far enough to prevent the harm caused to greyhounds.

‘I genuinely think this is an industry that is really beyond reform,’ Ruskell added. 

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