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  • Writer's pictureAnimal Rising Press

Police Crackdown at Towcester Racecourse with More Arrests Prior to English Greyhound Derby

Updated: Jun 3


  • At around 9:00 pm, a number of supporters of Animal Rising attempted to get on the track at Towcester Racecourse. It is currently unknown how many have been arrested by police.

  • Individuals attempted to get on the track from both inside from the spectator area as well as from outside, where a wall adjoins the A5 road.

  • Despite the RSPCA calling for an end to Greyhound racing, there was a heavy police presence to ensure the event went ahead.

  • Animal Rising is calling for supporters to join together and march for animals and nature in London, meeting at Marble Arch at 12pm on Saturday 26th August.

A number of supporters of Animal Rising have been arrested at Towcester Racecourse while attempting to get onto the track. The group aimed to cancel the race, worth £235,000 in total, widely known as the most prestigious event in the industry.


Supporters were filmed attempting to get on the track from the spectator area as well as over a large wall near the A5 road. Police managed to stop individuals from delaying the race which ran on time.


Robert Gordon, 27, a former Animal Care Assistant for the RSPCA and one of those at Towcester said:
“We’re here today to put an end to the harm that this joke of a ‘sport’ causes to thousands of Greyhounds every year. I want to send a clear message that it’s absolutely essential that we have a national conversation on our broken relationship with other animals and nature. Both horse racing and Greyhound racing demonstrate our obsession with the exploitation of animals for profit. I fail to see how any activity that routinely sees animals dying can be called ‘entertainment’ or ‘sport’
But this is not the only way we mistreat animals in this country; we also kill a billion land animals for food, causing unimaginable suffering and severely accelerating the climate and ecological crisis. We urgently need to fix our interactions with all animals, whether they be in Greyhound racing, horse racing, our food system, or beyond.” [1]

During the 18:04 race at Towcester, Bombay The Best was injured - it is unknown at this time if he has been killed or not as a result. Animal Rising says this is exactly why supporters have taken action today to highlight the dangers these dogs are forced to face at the greyhound tracks. Had the protestors not been removed by police from the scaffolding, Bombay The Best would have been protected from getting harmed at the track today.


Figures recently released showed that just last year there were 4,354 injuries at the tracks, and across the last 5 years of data almost 3,000 deaths in total of registered Greyhounds [2].


Estimates suggest around 80% of the Greyhounds used for racing in the UK are imported from the Republic of Ireland [3]. A 2019 documentary revealed almost 6,000 dogs are killed each year in the country for ‘being too slow’, with many breeders paying knackeries as little as €10 for each dog they wish to be killed [4].


Evidence provided to a parliamentary committee in 2016 suggested that up to 3,700 dogs are unaccounted for each year upon leaving the industry, with grave concerns being voiced that these dogs are killed due to a lack of profitability [5].


The Greyhound Board of Great Britain claims that the majority of dogs are successfully rehomed after they’ve finished being used for racing. However, in 2022, around 74% of all animals leaving the industry went to shelters - with no data being provided beyond that [2]. Animal Rising claims that this is a vast number of animals that are, then, unaccounted for and in some cases disappear - as many news articles suggest [6].


Animal Rising supports calls by the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and Blue Cross to end Greyhound racing in the UK.


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 safe and secure plant-based food system, alongside a mass rewilding programme.


ENDS


Word count: 690

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