GREYHOUND owners who say the numbers of dogs treated cruelly for sport is heavily underestimate have promised an ongoing campaign at Towcester Racecourse.
On Monday 10 protestors gathered at the racecourse entrance to highlight plans for a £1.25 million dog track.
In February South Northants Council gave the racecourse planning permission to build the 420metre track, despite a petition signed by 1,366 people.
The racecourse hit back by saying the track was designed in a way that it would not harm competing dogs, and signed deal with a greyhound rehoming centre to ensure retired dogs are treated well.
Amanda Richards from Brackley said they hope to have protestors at the entrance at every Saturday race night and added: “I think there’s an increasing awareness of the cruelty in greyhound racing and the problem with the sheer numbers of unwanted greyhounds.”
Miss Richards said there are greyhound tracks closing down around the country because the tide of opinion is turning against the sport. And while the best figures show 10,000 ex-racers are rehomed each year Miss Richards said many puppies do not respond to training and are destroyed before they enter the system.
She said: “There’s a reason they’re closing, and it is because people are not going through the doors. And what we would say to anyone with compassion is, do not go to Towcester Greyhound racing. And like other tracks they will have people protesting outside every single week. We are hoping to put people off from attending. If they don’t get people through the door they won’t make money and then they might think again.”
Racecourse general manager Kevin Ackerman said: “At Towcester racecourse we have a dedicated passion and commitment to welfare. This was further highlighted by our pursuit to ban the use of the whip for coercive purposes on horses in all races at Towcester, which was widely supported by a number of key welfare groups.
“Our aim is to become the most welfare friendly Greyhound track in the United Kingdom and to be a beacon of quality and welfare excellence for the sport.
“The proposed track will create a multitude of new job opportunities to the local community, providing a much needed boost to the local economy during these difficult times.”