More checks by licensing officers should be made into the welfare of dogs running at Abbey Stadium, according to one councillor.

Steve Heyes, a Conservative councillor in St Andrew’s ward, where the stadium is situated, has asked the council: “to look at any changes that could be made to increase licensing checks to help protection for greyhounds.”

And he has requested the cabinet member public safety Cathy Martyn write to the government to review the law on greyhound welfare, especially to strengthen welfare regulations when not racing, during breeding, kennelling and after their racing career has finished

Coun Heyes said: “It is recognised that greyhound racing has been around for generations and has provided much enjoyment to many over that time. Additionally it will have provided jobs for people and in a small way boosted the local economy.

“There is however a growing feeling that the racing greyhounds are not treated in the kind and humane way people who enjoy watching them believe they are or believe they should be. If the industry’s own figures are to be believed, 1,000 racing greyhounds died or were killed last year alone and those deaths were avoidable and unnecessary.”

He added: “A famous quote, often attributed to Gandhi, asserts ‘the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated’.

“Animals are recognised in domestic law as sentient beings and in today’s world we must be treating these dogs in a caring and humane way giving them the respect they deserve .”

Coun Martyn said: “I share your concerns about the welfare of greyhounds and any other racing animals. I support the notion that regulations should not only be concerned with racetracks but should cover standards at trainers’ kennels, include breeding, importation, rearing, schooling, training, trialling, racing and retirement.”

She agreed to write to the government and added: “There are powers of entry should a complaint be received by the licensing and animal team and in fact the kennels have recently been inspected. There is a vet present at all trials and races before start and after finish. It is important to note that if a vet is not present no trials or races can take place. Officers will be attending a race or trial following the initial inspection.”

Earlier this month, the owners of the Blunsdon venue won permission for a £5m revamp of the stadium.