Protestors and dogs pictured outside Newton Abbot greyhound track in Devon last weekend
AROUND FIFTY people, many of them accompanied by rescued greyhounds and holding banners and placards, staged a demonstration and march in Newton Abbot last Saturday, (May 28th) in protest against dog racing.
The demonstration was organised by South Devon Greyhound Action in support of Greyhound Awareness Week, a national event held every year to educate the public about the suffering and killing of dogs caused by the greyhound racing industry.
Helen Stevens from South Devon Greyhound Action said: "We are delighted with the excellent turnout at this event and the huge support we received from the public.
"We held a forty-five minute demo outside the Newton Abbot greyhound track and then marched with our dogs, banners and placards to the town centre, where we distributed leaflets to the public and set up an information stall where people queued to sign our petition against greyhound racing."
The march, which was accompanied by the solemn beat of a drum, included a funeral procession to highlight the greyhound slaughter, with a life-size coffin and pallbearers, led by a Reverend with the ‘Grim Reaper’ following behind. Many of the marchers had rescued greyhounds with them and most people taking part wore black attire with purple ribbons in remembrance of all the racing dogs killed over the years.
"The event was extremely visual and attracted a great deal of attention and sympathy from the public, with a considerable number of passing cars sounding their horns in agreement, said Stevens. South Devon Greyhound Action is part of a national campaign to protect greyhounds.
Our aim is to educate the general public about the horrors that take place within the racing industry in the hope that they will refrain from betting on the dogs and boycott greyhound racing once they are aware of the cruelty involved. We believe if enough people do this, the industry will diminish and eventually die out."
According to campaigners, tens of thousands of dogs are disposed of every year by the greyhound racing industry, many of these suffer horrifically, and most are put to death. The average age of a retired greyhound is approximately 3 – 4 years old.
Stevens adds: "Some of the methods used to dispose of greyhounds are unimaginable as not all are euthanazed by a vet. Drowning, shooting, clubbing over the head, and poisoning with cleaning fluids are just a few examples. Often there are cases of dogs that never get as far as racing at a track, as once bred, they may not be found suitable for racing and are destroyed at a very young age. This is totally unacceptable and immoral. Some dogs are simply abandoned at the end of their racing career and in some cases these have been found with their ears cut off.
Inside the ears is a tattoo that will identify the dog’s owner/trainer (Irish bred dogs will have a tattoo in both ears, English bred dogs will be tattooed in only one ear), therefore if a slaughtered or abandoned greyhound is not to be traced back to its owner/trainer, its ears will be cut off.
"South Devon Greyhound Action will continue to be the strong and determined voice for these beautiful and defenceless dogs and we will campaign until this slaughter and needless suffering is brought to an end."We are delighted to have the support of the local R.S.P.C.A. charity shops in Paignton, Brixham and Totnes.
For further information please contact Helen Stevens of South Devon Greyhound Action
on: 07812 742232 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Website for Greyhound Action (National & International) www.greyhoundaction.org.uk