Mark Ruskell speaking at Scottish Green Party conference

A ban on greyhound racing in Scotland has moved a big step closer, with Scottish Green Party MSP Mark Ruskell having launched a consultation for his bill that would make it illegal to hold races.

Ruskell, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, has been working closely with animal welfare charities including the Scottish SPCA, One Kind and others in highlighting what they see as the cruelty animals suffer in being forced to compete on dog tracks.

Data shows 17,930 recorded injuries among registered greyhounds and 2,412 deaths between 2018 and 2021 across the UK.

Speaking on the launch of the consultation, Ruskell said: “Greyhound racing is a cruel gambling-led sport. There is nothing safe about forcing dogs to run around an oval track at 40 mph. It is wrong, and it must be stopped.

“The industry has shown that it cannot be trusted to regulate itself, with hundreds of greyhounds dying or being injured every year.

“The way that we treat vulnerable voiceless animals is a mark of our values and who we are as a nation. The Scottish Parliament has already taken action to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. It’s time we stopped greyhound racing.

“With only one racetrack left in Scotland, there has never been a better time to put paws before profit and end these races. No dog can be left behind.

“I hope that as many people as possible take part in my consultation and that we can use it to develop the most appropriate and robust legislation possible and deliver an end to this abusive and badly-dated practice.”

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