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Greyhound killer faces court

GREYHOUND KILLER David Smith is due to appear before North Durham magistrates at 10am today (January 19th), as a result of a private prosecution brought by the Environment Agency.

Smith is accused of ‘depositing non-specific controlled waste without a licence’ on July 12, 2006, an allegation that relates to him burying dogs in a makeshift graveyard behind his home in Seaham, County Durham.

The case follows media revelations last July that Smith had used a captive-bolt pistol to shoot greyhounds, brought to him by trainers and others involved in the greyhound racing industry, and then buried their bodies on his land. He was said to have slaughtered 10,000 dogs over a 15-year period.

Police investigated Smith’s activities, but could not charge him for animal cruelty or illegally killing the dogs, as he had a valid licence for the use of the captive bolt gun with which he dispatched the dogs. However, he was eligible to be charged by the Environment Agency for illegally burying the dogs on his land without a licence.

The grisly facts were revealed by the Sunday Times newspaper last July and prompted a huge outcry form animal lovers and welfare groups. DEFRA Minister Ben Bradshaw was said to be ‘appalled’ by the revelations and ordered a Parliamentary Inquiry.

The Inquiry Committee is headed by Eric Martlew MP who is also chairman of the All Party Group for Animal Welfare and is currently investigating the Greyhound Racing industry and considering evidence from concerned parties.

Greyhound Action North-East (GANE), a newly-formed branch of the greyhound welfare group Greyhound Action, set up to cover North-East England, are organising a demonstration outside the court to draw attention to the issue and to call upon the public not to attend or bet on greyhound racing, so that it withers away through lack of financial support.