In light of Blue Cross’s comments today against the sport, a spokesperson for GBGB said:

“Blue Cross’s call today is a re-hash of their attempts last year to attract publicity based on misleading and outdated information. Their call for a phased ending to greyhound racing in the UK relies on evidence taken from the internet; much of what they have quoted was incorrect and nearly all outdated. In the B-roll footage that they have sent out to all media, two of the three links are from 2015 and one is from 2017. This is not at all up to date and shows how far behind the curve the Blue Cross’s campaign is from the reality of our sport today.

“Whilst not a large charity, Blue Cross will no doubt be facing the same problems as other animal rights charities in terms of the current cost-of-living crisis and its impact on homing and fundraising. It seems surprising – and misguided – that they feel compelled to spend circa £150,000 of their donations, as we understand it, to lobby for a ban on a legitimate, culturally-resonant and welfare-centric sport. We would ask whether their Trustees and supporters endorse this level of expenditure and how, with homing centres currently overwhelmed with dogs and other animals, they justify spending hard-gained donations on this disingenuous campaign over real and pressing challenges.

“Blue Cross has certainly not seemed bothered to act on greyhound racing in the last year, despite their calls for an end to the sport in 2022.

“Meanwhile, as regulator for the licensed sector of our sport, GBGB has quietly got on with implementing our long-term welfare strategy, ‘A Good Life for Every Greyhound’. This an evidence-based and peer-reviewed strategy setting out how we are enhancing welfare standards across the sport and ensuring every registered greyhound receives the very best care and protection throughout their lives – protection that far exceeds that afforded to domestic dogs. Blue Cross should be challenged on whether the dogs in their care are looked after this well and whether they believe that all domestic pets should have the same quality of welfare as we have in our sport.

“Welfare is absolutely paramount within licensed greyhound racing and the care and wellbeing of greyhounds is prioritised above all else. Our annual data demonstrates the constant improvements in welfare which are being achieved and our approach has been endorsed by DEFRA. Blue Cross’s use of our own published data against us is not to show the significant and continued reduction in deaths over the past few years. They have merely consolidated five years’ worth of data to promote emotive arguments rather than look at the evidence-based reductions that the sport is achieving and will continue to aim for.

“Being loud doesn’t make you right and we will always prioritise an evidence-based, animal welfare approach over animal rights activism. We are proud to be part of the licensed greyhound community which goes above and beyond to ensure greyhounds are well-cared for, celebrated and loved throughout their lives. Indeed, our inaugural National Greyhound Week, which took place just a few weeks ago, saw packed stands at licensed stadia across the country showcasing the popularity of the sport.”