The government set up the Greyhound Welfare Working Group - made up of the sport’s various official bodies together with groups such as the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust - last year to advise it on its animal welfare bill, which is likely to become law later this year or in early 2007.
However, despite much parliamentary debate, the bill will not make any specific provision for greyhounds and the group has been told that they will be covered only by secondary legislation.
According to a draft drawn up by Defra, the environment ministry, this is likely to state that ‘where destruction is inevitable, greyhounds must be euthanased humanely by the intravenous injection of a suitable drug administered under the direct supervision of a veterinary surgeon’.
Maureen Purvis, of Greyhounds UK, a pressure group that gave evidence to a House of Commons select committee regarding the new bill, said: ‘We wanted the tracks to come under the jurisdiction and inspection of the local authorities. The industry has had 80 years to regulate itself and it plainly is not working.’