AN ANIMAL rescue charity is calling on the Welsh Government to take their animal welfare plans further by banning greyhound racing in Wales.

Hope Rescue has welcomed the publication of Welsh Government’s Animal Welfare Plan for Wales.

However, the Llanharan-based charity is urging dog lovers to write to their local Senedd Member asking them to support their call for a complete ban on greyhound racing in Wales.

The plan so far outlines the Welsh Government’s commitment to improvements in some of the policy areas Hope Rescue has campaigned for - including the regulation of animal welfare establishments, improved microchipping regulations and more resources for Local Authority enforcement.

However, the plan includes reference to the potential licensing of greyhound racing.

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This is a policy area where Hope Rescue fundamentally disagrees and is urging Welsh Government to ban greyhound racing in Wales, rather than regulate it.

A recent petition to the Senedd set up by the charity has already attracted more than 20,000 signatures and will now be considered for a debate.

Regulation, the charity argues, will leave the door open for the one remaining greyhound track to implement the proposal set out on Valley Greyhounds' website to to register the track as a Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) licensed track greatly intensifying the scale of use.

A spokesperson for Hope Rescue said: “We strongly believe that greyhound racing is an inherently cruel sport.

"Every year thousands of greyhounds suffer catastrophic injuries or are killed while racing, including at our local track in Ystrad Mynach.

"The industry also creates thousands of surplus dogs annually that then need rescuing by overstretched animal welfare organisations.

“Regulation will not prevent dogs from getting injured, it will not prevent them from dying and it won’t prevent them from needing to be rescued by overstretched animal welfare organisations.

"A ban is the only way to truly protect greyhounds in Wales.”

Hope Rescue is urging dog lovers to write to their local Senedd Member of the Senedd asking them to support its campaign to ban greyhound racing in Wales.

You can view the petition at petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/244932

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