Today, a group of nine animal welfare organisations have teamed up to call for a phase-out of greyhound racing in Scotland. The industry is on its last legs, with just one racetrack left in Scotland. No dog deserves to be forced into a gambling-led industry with an unacceptable risk of injury and death. Does the First Minister agree that it is now time that Scotland phased out greyhound racing once and for all?
Yes, I agree that animal welfare should be at the heart of the Government’s agenda. I have made that clear in the first 10 weeks in which I have been in position. I know that that was a commitment that was made by my predecessor, as well. I am, of course, more than happy to look at how we can give further effect to Mark Ruskell’s ask. We have a good record when it comes to animal welfare, but I agree that there is further for us to go. I will look at the detail of Mark Ruskell’s request and write to him in due course about our plans moving forward.