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Call to boycott Boots over dog race promotion
- Greyhound Day of Action, Saturday, June 25th -

A LEADING High Street store is under fire from Greyhound welfare activists after launching a promotion whereby the store is promoting Greyhound racing on their website.

The promotion for Greyhound racing is listed as a special "gift" which can purchase at Boots chemist online. Customers get 100 extra Advantage points when they book.

The Boots website promotes the offer in the following terms : ‘Special Offer! Greyhound Racing for Two! Enjoy the fun of greyhound racing.

‘With an estimated £2.25 billion wagered on and off course and £11 million in prize money greyhound racing is an absolute 'must have' experience. At most tracks there's a race taking place every 15 minutes, which means non-stop action. Trying to pick the winner just adds fun to the evening. You can choose which track you want to go to: London, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Birmingham; Sunderland, Tyne & Wear; Byker, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.’

The promotion is being sold through Boots’ stores at the instigation of a marketing company called Gift Experience Supplier.

Already Boots has been inundated with complaints from dog lovers across the UK and from around the world, all of who oppose greyhound racing on welfare grounds, pointing out that many thousands of ex-racing Greyhounds are abandoned or killed every year. Despite this, Boots remain steadfast in their resolve to continue the promotion, even though they are now faced with the threat of demonstrations being taken to their stores.

The international greyhound protection organisation Greyhound Action has decided to call a Day of Action against Boots on Saturday, June 25th, when the group's supporters will be holding protests outside Boots’ stores up and down the country, calling on the public to boycott the company until they cease promoting greyhound racing. As most Boots branches are in busy shopping areas, Greyhound Action believe this will also provide an excellent opportunity to educate people about the suffering and death caused by the greyhound racing industry.

According to Greyhound Action's UK coordinator, Tony Peters, thousands of dogs are disposed of every year because they don’t make the grade, get injured at the track or are too old to race. It is claimed that the vast majority of these 'unwanted' greyhounds end up being put to death, sometimes by horrific methods.

This is not the first time that Boots have attracted such controversy over animal welfare. Ten years ago the company was forced to sell its research laboratory where cosmetic products were tested on beagles and other animals.

Tony Peters commented:

"This time we're confident we can persuade so many people to boycott Boots that they will be forced to end their greyhound racing promotion. In general, people in this country have a great fondness for dogs and we know that a large number of people have already contacted Boots to express their objections and our Day of Action will greatly increase the pressure on the company."

Boots’ Press Officer Clare Stafford told OUR DOGS: "At Boots, we take great care when selecting our products and suppliers. This includes gathering information from a variety of sources and consulting with our customers before making the decision to sell products. We also have an obligation only to sell products that are legal.

"In the case of Greyhound Racing, I'd like to reassure you that our chosen suppliers take the welfare of Greyhounds very seriously. All are members of the British Greyhound Racing Board (BGRB), which is committed to ensuring the highest standards of care of Greyhounds, both during and after their racing careers. The BGRB actively promotes the work of the Retired Greyhound Trust, a charity that's dedicated to encouraging owners to look after their Greyhounds properly in their retirement."

For more information, contact Tony Peters on 01562 745778 or see the Greyhound Action website at www.greyhoundaction.org.uk