- Thousands pledge to boycott bookmaker, claim protesters
INTERNATIONAL GREYHOUND protection group Greyhound Action has declared Saturday's Day of Action against leading bookmaker William Hill a "huge success", with tens of thousands of leaflets distributed outside branches of the bookies and people all over Britain signing a pledge to boycott the company until it ends its connections with greyhound racing.
The Day of Action formed part of Greyhound Action's Virtual Virtues campaign, launched recently to persuade bookmakers to cease their involvement in greyhound racing and to concentrate on virtual (computerised) racing instead.
The group has chosen William Hill to be its first focus of the campaign, because the company puts more money into dog racing than any other bookie.
Two months ago, Greyhound Action supporters demonstrated outside the William Hill AGM in London.
The group chose last Saturday for the Day of Action to coincide with the final of the William Hill sponsored Greyhound Derby, the biggest event in the dog racing calendar.
Greyhound Action's UK co-ordinator Tony Peters said: "William Hill own two greyhound stadiums (at Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and the company pour millions of pounds into greyhound racing every year, through their betting-shops, on-line betting, digital racing channel and sponsorship of races, such as the Greyhound Derby.”
In recent years the greyhound racing industry has been in decline and dozens of tracks have been forced to close. The popularity of greyhound racing is now in decline, and the sport is becoming perceived as very un-PC. As the public becomes more and more aware of the tragic fate of the dogs, and it is inevitable that share-prices of companies involved in dog racing will suffer considerably.
On the other hand, virtual racing, which involves no suffering or slaughter, is becoming increasingly popular with punters, according to Greyhound Action.
"We are saying to William Hill that the time has come for them to disengage from live greyhound racing and concentrate instead on the virtual alternative, for the good of the company, its shareholders - and, above all, the dogs," added Mr Peters.
As part of the campaign, Greyhound Action has produced a special ‘William Kill’ colour leaflet, calling on the public to boycott William Hill until the company ceases its involvement with greyhound racing.
Mr Peters said: "Our supporters, many of them accompanied by rescued greyhounds, distributed tens of thousands of these leaflets on Saturday in all the major cities and many other towns throughout the UK, both at street stalls and pickets outside William Hill betting shops.
"We are delighted at the response of the public to our campaign. So many people were horrified to learn about the suffering and slaughter of dogs caused by the greyhound racing industry, and thousands signed a pledge to boycott William Hill until the company ends its connection with greyhound racing.
"Saturday was just the first of several Days of Action we have planned against William Hill over the coming months and our campaign will continue relentlessly until our aim of ending commercial greyhound racing is achieved."
William Hill declined to comment.
For more information, contact Tony Peters on 01562 745778 or 07703 558724 Also see the Greyhound Action website at www.greyhoundaction.org.uk