What is the Racing Dog Protection Act UK?
The Racing Dog Protection Act (RDPA) aims to push the plight of racing greyhounds up the political agenda. It sets out the legislative changes required to outlaw betting on greyhound racing.
The RDPA represents a collaboration between a number of large animal protection and welfare groups, greyhound rescuers and many concerned members of the public. Its strength and ultimate success will be determined by the amount of support it receives so please back the act today.
Why is there a need to protect racing dogs in the UK?
Commercial greyhound racing (i.e. that on which betting is permitted) has long been associated with cruelty to the dogs in its charge. The issues of poor husbandry and unnecessary destruction of dogs have, in particular, received a great deal of media coverage. Research by the SPCRA has shown that the problems experienced in the UK are by no means unique. In fact similar problems exist in every instance of commercial greyhound racing around the world.
Who are we?
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Racing Animals (SPCRA) are a new animal welfare organisation whose primary aim is to ensure that the welfare needs of all commercially raced animals are given priority. They are the initiators of the Racing Dog Protection Act (RDPA).
What is our inspiration?
We are inspired by the recent success of The Committee to Protect Dogs, a campaign group in Massachusetts who, in November 2008, successfully convinced the electorate to vote in favour of the Greyhound Protection Act. This means that as of 2010 all betting on greyhound racing will be banned. This is a landmark decision for greyhound welfare lobby groups around the word. It is the first time that a commercially successful greyhound racing industry has been forced to close down through political action. It puts a completely new light on the future activities of similar campaigns around the world.
What have we achieved so far?
Based on the strength of our campaign strategy and the solid animal welfare arguments presented we have recently received formal endorsement from WSPA (World Society for Protection of Animals), the largest animal welfare alliance in the world.
We are also building a network of support both in this country and internationally. We have received backing from a number of large animal welfare organisations, see endorsements.
In September 2008 we also organised a meeting with a wide variety of organisations and individuals who have an interest in the welfare of racing greyhounds. Attendees included representatives from FCI (World Canine Organisation), RSPCA, Dogs Trust, League Against Cruel Sports and a number of greyhound welfare lobby groups.
It was the first time that such a diverse group of stakeholders had gathered to discuss the issues relating to the welfare of commercially raced greyhounds. The meeting highlighted the need to work collaboratively in order to achieve success. As a result of the meeting we have established links with a number of organisations.
Why people should support the Act?
We have travelled extensively and researched all forms of dog racing around the world. The results clearly indicate that the only way of ensuring the best standards of welfare for greyhounds is if commercial greyhound racing is outlawed. In Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland betting on races is prohibited and as a result there are no animal welfare issues and the dogs are kept at home as pets. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence which suggests that commercial greyhound racing inevitably results in animal welfare issues. Therefore the only satisfactory solution is for betting to be outlawed.