23 Tracks

Greyhound racing in the United Kingdom

Active dog racing tracks

Northern Ireland

There are 23 tracks in operation in the United Kingdom. Greyhound racing takes place on both licensed and independent "flapper" tracks. The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is the governing body for twenty licensed tracks in England and Wales. There are also two unregulated flapper tracks, Thornton in Scotland and Brandywell in Northern Ireland. Finally, there is one additional track in Northern Ireland, which is regulated by the Irish Coursing Club.

Polls conducted by Panelbase and commissioned by GREY2K USA Worldwide in late 2022 and early 2023, show that 57% of Welsh citizens and 60% of Scots support an end to dog racing. Petitions to end dog racing in Wales and Scotland received over 35,000 and 28,000 signatures respectively, making them the most signed petitions in Scottish and Welsh parliamentary history. Legislation is now pending.

The GBGB reported 27,121 greyhound injuries, including 1,125 track fatalities between 2017 and 2022. An additional 2,693 greyhounds were reported destroyed for economic reasons or because they were deemed "unsuitable for homing" after their last race.1

Ireland is the hub of greyhound breeding, and approximately 6,000 greyhounds are exported to Britain from Ireland each year.2 Ireland is the source for over 80% of greyhounds racing in the UK.3 Greyhounds are also bred in Great Britain itself, and an additional 168 litters (approximately 1,000 dogs) were born in 2022 alone.4

British Registrations

The number of greyhounds registered to race in the UK has declined significantly in recent years. The GBGB registered 5,899 new greyhounds in 2023, a decrease of 19% since 2019.5

There is a large discrepancy between the number of dogs imported from Ireland or born in the UK and the number of dogs subsequently registered to race in Great Britain. Due to the GBGB’s lack of transparency and traceability, countless greyhounds disappear from record each year.6

The GBGB implements the Rules of Racing which include regulations for race meetings, licensing requirements and doping policies. There are no specific rules or laws in Northern Ireland for greyhounds used for racing.

From April 2022 through March 2023, the turnover (or amount wagered) on off-course, on-course pool and remote betting on dog races was estimated at £1.5 billion.7

  1. "Key Injury and Retirement Figures," Greyhound Board of Great Britain, gbgb.org.uk (accessed April 1, 2020).
  2. Ronan McGreevy, "Whereabouts of 6,000 greyhound pups a year unknown, IGB told," The Irish Times, September 29, 2017, irishtimes.com , June 27, 2019 (accessed April 30, 2020).
  3. "IGB Business Model Analysis," Preferred Results Ltd., griieland.ie, (accessed December 3, 2020).
  4. Floyd Amphlett, "Tuesday Round Up", Greyhound Star, greyhoundstar.co.uk, January 9, 2024 (accessed January 10, 2024); Floyd Amphlett, "Registrations and Litters Both Down", Greyhound Star, greyhoundstar.co.uk, January 23, 2020 (accessed January 18, 2024).
  5. Floyd Amphlett, "Thursday Roundup", Greyhound Star, greyhoundstar.co.uk, January 4, 2024 (accessed January 10, 2024).
  6. "Report on the welfare of greyhounds used for racing in Scotland," Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, gov.scot, March 2023 (accessed January 22, 2024).
  7. "Industry Statistics – November 2023," Gambling Commission, November 24, 2022,gamblingcommission.gov.uk, (accessed JFebruary 27, 2024).

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