Towcester Racecourse Disrupted Ahead Of English Greyhound Derby
At around 12:00, 3 supporters of Animal Rising entered the track at Towcester Racecourse and climbed a scaffold holding a large TV screen in its centre.
Animal Rising have been told that while people remain at height there is a total shutdown of the racecourse - protecting greyhounds from coming to harm on the track and continuing “a national conversation about our broken relationship with other animals and nature.”
Supporters of Animal Rising have scaled a large scaffold in the centre of the Greyhound racing track at Towcester, where the English Greyhound Derby is due to run at 21:15 this evening. The group aims to cancel the race, worth £175,000, widely known as the most prestigious event in the industry.
Alistair Stewart, 27, an MSc student at University College London and one of those taking action said:
“We’re here today to send a clear message that we need a national conversation about our broken relationship with other animals and nature. Greyhound racing epitomises the way we view animals as things to be used for human entertainment or pleasure. With 99 of these beautiful animals dying at racecourses in 2022, it’s clear this industry is literally life-or-death for the dogs in it.
All this whilst a billion land animals are killed for food in the UK, causing untold suffering and worsening the climate and ecological crisis. We urgently need to mend our connection with all animals, whether they be in Greyhound racing, our food system, horse racing, or beyond.”  
They intend to stay atop the structure until the day’s races are cancelled - including the English Greyhound Derby.
Estimates suggest around 80% of the Greyhounds used for racing in the UK are imported from The Republic of Ireland . 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 . It is also in the GBGB regulations (rule 110B) that there must be a freezer at every licensed track to store the dead bodies of dogs that die there .
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 .
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 little data being provided beyond that . 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 .
Animal Rising supports calls by the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and Blue Cross to end Greyhound racing in the UK. Just this week a suspended GBGB Greyhound trainer has been sentenced to 36 weeks in prison for the abuse of dogs in her care .
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.
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Notes to Editor:
 https://gbgb-prod-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/20093801/FINAL-GBGB-Track-Injury-and-Retirement-Data-2022-Commentary.pdf 3,892 of 5289 dogs leaving the industry went to “Greyhound Trust/ Charity” some 74% to 2 significant figures of calculation.
 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13086085/british-greyhounds-racing-dogs-mass-graves-bolt/ and https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/cruel-sports/greyhound-racing/#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%20thousands%20of%20greyhounds,with%20greyhound%2Dspecific%20rescue%20groups.