Miriam Margolyes backs campaign to stop greyhound racing at Oxford stadium – Totally Vegan Buzz

Miriam Margolyes backs campaign to stop greyhound racing at Oxford stadium

Healthy greyhounds killed 'in their prime' in racing industry shocking death toll figures are revealed
Image: Klaus Hertz-Ladiges / shutterstock

“Greyhound racing is a nasty business that has no place at Oxford Stadium – or anywhere in the UK – except as a distant memory.”

Acclaimed acting legend Miriam Margolyes is urging Oxford City Council to stop Greyhound racing and instead use its stadium for ‘sports that humans choose to take part in’.

The Happy Potter actor who grew up in Oxford has slammed the ‘nasty business’ and backed vegan charity PETA’s campaign to close down dog-racing stadiums across the country.

 “I have many fond memories of growing up in Oxford, but they don’t involve watching gentle and sociable greyhounds run around a track for punters,” Margolyes said in a statement.

 “This isn’t sport – it’s animal abuse. I was disgusted to learn from my friends at PETA that dogs used for racing are often doped and many of them die from the injuries they sustain.

 “Greyhound racing is a nasty business that has no place at Oxford Stadium – or anywhere in the UK – except as a distant memory.”

Greyhound racing

According to PETA, the archaic and cruel sport affects thousands of dogs each year with sickness and injuries – including broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks.  Additionally, the tortured animals are often abandoned or killed once they’re no longer deemed fit for racing.

In a report released by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, as many as 12,000 pups are reportedly killed every year in the name of “selective breeding”.

Moreover, selected dogs that qualify to be raced spend 95% of their lives muzzled in cages – only for a few minutes on the track. Dogs are also often doped, with many testing positive for Class A drugs – including cocaine.

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) revealed that more than 400 racing greyhounds died or were euthanised in 2020, despite the pandemic drastically reducing the number of races held.

Response

Although Greyhound racing has been a declining industry in recent years, racing track manager Kevin Boothby acquired a ten-year lease from Galliard Homes to revive the dying sport.

Refuting the concerns raised by PETA, Boothby told Oxford Mail: “The allegations against our sport by animal extremists PETA are entirely unfounded and show they are totally out of touch with the reality of our sport.

“Thankfully, these are the views of a small minority and we have been delighted by the support we have received from the local community. 

“Our greyhounds are loved and are cared for before, during and after their racing careers. Once licenced by GBGB, the stadium will comply with GBGB’s Rules of Racing. This means that our greyhounds receive higher welfare standards than domestic pet dogs.

“They will be checked by a vet both before and after racing and their residential kennels are closely monitored by the GBGB, vets and independent animal welfare auditors. “

He added: “Once we have everything open for greyhound racing, speedway, go-karting and our dance studios, the stadium will create 200 jobs for local people. Importantly, Oxford will have a fantastic new facility for the local community and visitors to enjoy.” 

‘Host sports that humans choose to take part in’

Apart from urging Oxford City Council to ‘intervene’, PETA and Margolyes, are also calling on concerned residents to call on Councillor Alex Hollingsworth to stall the Oxford stadium from reopening for Greyhound Racing.

Margoyles said: “I hope anyone who loves dogs as much as I do will join me in urging Oxford City Council to leave dog racing in the past by encouraging the stadium to host sports that humans choose to take part in.”

To date, over 19000 people have signed the petition. You can sign it here.

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