Recently, a coalition of 9 animal protection groups launched a campaign to end greyhound racing in Scotland. Additionally, Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (Sage), which is one of the groups supporting the campaign, has submitted a petition to gradually eliminate greyhound racing in Scotland.

However, at the urging of MP Mark Ruskell, who said that “no dog deserves to be forced into a gambling-led industry with an unacceptable risk of injury and death,” Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf will conduct an inquiry into the matter.

Promising to consider the petition:

The First Minister’s response to Mark Ruskell’s call to review the petition came on the same day that the aforementioned coalition of 9 animal protection groups such as OneKind, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, League Against Cruel Sports, Grey2K USA Worldwide, Animal Concern, Hope Rescue, All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group, Scotland Against Greyhound Racing, and Say No to Greyhound Racing in Scotland, gathered under the banner #UnboundTheGreyhound. In this regard, the campaign said: “Scotland’s greyhound racing industry is on its last legs with just one, unlicensed, track remaining in Scotland. Polling also reveals that the majority of Scots want to see the Scottish government put an end to this cruel industry, that involves the deaths and injuries of dogs, amputations and doping.”

Commenting on the petition, Yousaf said: “I agree that animal welfare should be at the heart of the government’s agenda and I would consider what steps it could take. I am, of course, more than happy to look at how we can give further effect to Mark Ruskell’s ask. We have a good record when it comes to animal welfare, but I agree that there is further for us to go. I will look at the detail of Mark Ruskell’s request and write to him in due course about our plans moving forward.”

Scottish Greens MSP as lead campaign supporter:

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell has announced his support for the campaign, after long campaigning to finally put an end to greyhound racing. This involved a call to close Thornton Greyhound Stadium, the last remaining unlicensed racecourse in Scotland, and a motion to the Scottish Parliament welcoming its establishment.

Commenting on the issue with the Scottish First Minister, Ruskell said: “I welcome the First Minister’s interest and am glad that he shares my concerns. I hope that we can work together to phase-out greyhound racing. No dog should endure the risks that are at the heart of this industry. It is heartening to see so many people coming together as one voice to demand a phase out of greyhound racing in Scotland. We are motivated by the welfare of these beautiful creatures and a desire to ensure that they are cared for and protected. It is beyond time that the operators of Thornton Greyhound Stadium, and all who knowingly put these dogs at risk, joined efforts to find loving forever homes for greyhounds still trapped in this high-risk and gambling-led industry and shut their racetracks for good. I hope the growing weight in numbers, and the interest of the First Minister, signals to the industry that its days are numbered.”