The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint made by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) about a billboard produced by the anti-greyhound racing organisation Caged Nationwide which highlights dog deaths in the cruel sport.
GBGB complained that the billboard could cause distress to both racegoers and their employees and that it was misleading, but ASA disagreed. The billboard, which was the first in a series of digital posters due to be displayed across the UK, was placed near Owlerton greyhound racing track, Sheffield, England, in June 2022, and showed an image of a muzzled greyhound with text alongside it stating: “Greyhound Racing KILLS”, and under it, smaller text reading “Every licensed track has a freezer to store the dead dogs.” GBGB said both claims are inaccurate but failed to persuade the ASA, which agreed that both claims had been substantiated and were “not likely to mislead.” As a result, Caged Nationwide said it will now be publishing similar billboards across the UK in the “interests of public awareness.”
According to new figures, 15 greyhounds died and 197 injuries to animals were recorded at Shawfield Stadium between 2017 and 2020. Official data from GBGB also shows 3,153 greyhound deaths and 18,345 recorded injuries across the UK during the same period, and more than 2,000 deaths and almost 18,000 injuries between 2018 and 2021.
Rita Jones, director of Caged Nationwide, told The Ferret: “I find it unfortunate that the racing industry feel the content on our billboard may have created upset for their employees. However, we do not believe this could compare whatsoever to the distress likely to be felt by their own track vets and other members of staff, whose reality is to actually witness a dog being destroyed almost each day at British racetracks due to fatal collisions.”
Recently, three UK animal welfare charities have united forces to call for a nationwide ban on greyhound racing within the next five years. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the Dogs Trust, and the Blue Cross have stated that greyhound racing is “inherently dangerous” for the dogs involved and it should be abolished to prevent hundreds of animal deaths every year.