Dozens of animal rights activists were protesting the treatment of greyhounds outside Owlerton stadium in Sheffield on Bonfire night.
The group was protesting against the fireworks show that Owlerton stadium was planning for the night, as this would be terrifying to the greyhounds in the stadium. According to the protesters, 45% of dogs in the UK fear fireworks.
Vikki Squires, 47, one of the organisers of the protest from the group Stop Owlerton Greyhound Racing and Sheffield Animal Action, was there to also raise awareness about the maltreatment towards greyhounds and for being forced to race during the fireworks.
Ms Squires said: “We believe approximately 10,000 greyhounds are killed a year, or what we call they go missing. If you work out the sums over the years, there’s about 10,000 that are unaccounted for, and if they are unaccounted for then we know that they will have been killed.”
The exact number of missing greyhounds is hard to pinpoint as the industry’s governing body, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), does not oblige owners to provide evidence that a new home has been found for the retired dogs.
“The greyhound’s average age is between three and four, because if they don’t make the grade they get killed. They go to trial and if they are not fast enough they get killed. If they are injured while they are racing they are often killed. Greyhounds live till they are 12 or 13 and yet their average age is three or four”, she added.
Greyhound racing is considered controversial as it is legal only in eight countries, and it is part of a declining industry as numerous greyhound tracks are closing world-wide, and in some places, being banned.
Squires concluded: “Greyhounds are pets they are not bets, people need to see, there is a dissociation between what people see greyhounds as, they are dogs, they are amazing dogs and so we are here to raise awareness”.
Squires also volunteers for the Birmingham Greyhound Protection, which saved 700 dogs in four years, as she herself saves at least two a month and helps fostering and rehabilitating them.