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Greyhound Racing

A Blot on Oxford 

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Greyhound

There are many causes that we hold close to our hearts here at OX, and with rescue greyhound Lionel as our beloved office dog and Canine Editor, this is certainly one of them.

This month we were appalled to hear that after nearly a decade-long absence, and despite animal rights campaigners PETA attracting more than 32,000 signatures in opposition of the blood sport, the Council have ruled that Greyhound racing will return to Oxford Stadium on the 26th of this month.

“There’s much I love about the city…including its rich history – but greyhound racing is one thing that should remain firmly in Oxford’s past”, says Miriam Margolyes, whose letter on behalf of PETA was delivered ahead of an Oxford City Council meeting. Sadly, it was unsuccessful in swaying the motion.

According to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, in 2020 (during the pandemic, when numbers can be expected to be much lower than average) 3,375 greyhounds sustained injuries and at least 200 greyhounds died trackside with thousands disappearing.

These dogs are bred for racing, and if they aren’t fast enough, they are culled or sold without any care for what happens to them. While the average lifespan is around twelve years, racing greyhounds are sometimes killed at as young as two years old if they are not deemed ‘fit’ to race. Many are euthanized to save the cost of vets bills. Even those that survive to retirement (at around four years old) can be deemed traumatized and ‘unfit’ for rehoming, and so therefore are also euthanized.

Kate Werner, senior campaign manager at PETA said: “Compassionate Oxfordians see greyhound racing for what it is – animal abuse – and they don’t want it in their city."

If like us, you want to do all you can to ban this barbaric practice and see the stadium used for alternative purposes, we have provied a list of links and resources on protecting these poor animals. Keep an eye on our social media for updates.

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