top of page
AR_PAPER-BACKGROUND_PINK-2_4000x3000 (1).jpg
  • Writer's pictureAnimal Rising Press

Greyhound Protesters Fined £60,000 Despite No Disruption to Greyhound Derby Final

  • On 1st July, 2023, 16 supporters of Animal Rising were arrested after attempting to gain access to Towcester race track ahead of the Greyhound Derby final, UK greyhound racing’s biggest fixture of the year [1].

  • Of those 16, only 4 have been taken to court. On 9th February, they were found guilty of aggravated trespass and - for one defendant - ‘going equipped to lock on’. 

  • ‘Going equipped to lock on’ is a new charge brought in by the Government’s recent Public Order Act (2023) and it is believed that this might be the first conviction for this offence [2]. 

  • The defendants received prison sentences of 6-9 weeks, suspended for 12 months; 100 hours of community service; and were ordered to pay £15,000 in compensation each.

  • The group, Animal Rising, carried out these actions to shine a spotlight on our broken relationship with animals and nature. They claim greyhound racing is a perfect example of this broken relationship, where “man’s best friend” is put in harm’s way in the name of entertainment and money-making. 

Today (12/04/24), four supporters of Animal Rising were sentenced at Northampton Magistrates Court by Judge Mehta for actions taken at the Greyhound Derby Final on 1st July last year. 

Three defendants received a 9-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and £850 in court costs. The last defendant received a 6-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and £85 in court costs. All four defendants were additionally ordered to pay £15,000 in compensation EACH over the next two years; to complete 100 hours of community service; and to attend 20 rehabilitation days. Finally, they were given a 12-month restraining order not to attend any greyhound races in the UK.

One of the defendants, Ed Allnut, 33, said:

"As someone who cares deeply for animals, it breaks my heart to see ‘man’s best friend’ put repeatedly in harm’s way on the UK’s few remaining dog tracks. We walked out of court today with our heads held high, knowing we did the right thing by shining a spotlight on this cruel and outdated so-called ‘sport.’ The majority of people know dog-racing is wrong. There is a reason it is unlawful in all but the UK and 6 other countries."

A spokesperson from human rights organisation Liberty said:

“This sentencing sets a really alarming precedent for protest rights. In recent years, the Government has brought in a raft of increasingly broad and vague protest offences, which
have criminalised protesters and created a hostile environment for people who are trying to make their voices heard on the issues they care most about.

“It is especially worrying that even more anti-protest laws are planned to be introduced in the Criminal Justice Bill. The Government should be protecting our right to protest, not chipping away at it further.”

Whilst all four defendants were sentenced for aggravated trespass, Ed received an additional charge of ‘going equipped to lock on.’ It is believed that this may be the first conviction for this offence since the Public Order Act introduced it as a crime last year [2]. The Public Order Act (2023) has been described by the United Nations as ‘deeply troubling’ [3] with a ‘profoundly chilling effect on civic freedoms’ [4]. 


Word count: 539

High-Quality Pictures and Videos: 

All images and videos in this file, on our social media, and website can be used with credit to Animal Rising under ‘fair use’ for the purposes of reporting.

For more information or further comments, please contact: 

Nathan (Press Back Office): +44 1225 29 6691

Notes to Editor:

Animal Rising is a social movement to create a new relationship with all beings and give us a chance for a safe ecological future. The group primarily calls for the transition to a secure and sustainable plant-based food system, alongside a mass rewilding programme.



bottom of page