Greyhounds must be given same protection as race horses as MPs and

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Telegraph understands that in light of research and pressure from charities and MPs, Defra is considering tightening regulations to cover conditions at trainers’ kennels, and providing funding for rehoming so healthy dogs are not put down.Anna Turley MP is one of many Members of Parliament who have been pushing for tighter regulation on the industry and has said there should be a centralised register of greyhounds so the government can see what happens to the animals after they retire.She told The Telegraph: “”With the horse racing industry, the scale of injuries and deaths isn’t as bad, horses are far more expensive than greyhounds and dogs need to be treated as living animals and not seen as dispensible.”We would like to see some best practice on responsible ownership, better regulation on ownership, a centralised database of dogs rather than informal recording, so we could see what happens and see what protections need to be put in place. It’s been very difficult even to get these figures.”Mr Laurie also said more needs to be done to promote ex-racing greyhounds as pets; while many see them as high-maintenance, they are ideal for first-time dog owners.He explained: “We take in many ex-racing greyhounds at Battersea – over 100 already this year. Many people think they’re high maintenance and need a lot of exercise. This is rarely the case and most Greyhounds are quite lazy dogs that would rather spend their time lounging on a comfortable sofa. Greyhounds can make wonderful pets, particularly for first time dog owners.”A Defra spokesperson said: “The government agrees with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee that the industry has to be more transparent about the destiny of retired racing greyhounds.“We have recently reviewed the regulations for racing greyhounds and are considering whether they should be extended.” Greyhounds must be given the same protection as race horses, MPs and animal charities have said, as they demand protection for the dogs while they are in kennels.At the moment, there are no rules for how the dogs are treated while in kennels, where they spend 95 per cent of their racing lives – and no way to tell if the animals are being mistreated, neglected or abused.The government has promised to act after new figures released earlier this year showed 348 greyhounds were destroyed in a year because of lack of funds for veterinary care, and a lack of willing homes for retired dogs.Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has urged the government to give the dogs protection while they are in racing kennels, and to force the racing industry, which reaps hundreds of millions of pounds in profit each year from greyhounds, to contribute to their veterinary costs. This would mean hundreds of dogs may not have to be put down each year.Battersea’s Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Laurie, said :“Currently racing tracks are subject to statutory regulations, but trainers’ kennels are not. As we estimate that a racing Greyhound spends 95% of its time at a trainer’s kennels, Battersea strongly believes these should be brought into the scope of the regulations.“Battersea is also concerned that improvements to Greyhound welfare are being held back because the industry is significantly underfunded. Although betting firms make large profits from Greyhound racing, many are failing to make a contribution to Greyhound welfare and the regulation of this industry. We are calling for the existing, voluntary levy to be made compulsory.” The government is looking into providing further protection for greyhounds while they are in kennels The government is looking into providing further protection for greyhounds while they are in kennelsCredit:PETA via AP read more