A greyhound protection group was inundated with calls from concerned viewers after a dog was fatally
injured at Belle Vue Stadium during a race broadcast live by Sky Sports.
The greyhound, a 2 year old male, called Frisby Foreman, fell badly during the 8pm race last Tuesday
and was carried from the track in agony.
After receiving dozens of calls from viewers, Greyhound Action investigated the incident and has now
learned that the dog, who was racing for the first time at Belle Vue, sustained a broken shoulder
and was subsequently “put down” by a vet.
Following the incident, the group has renewed it’s calls for an end to greyhound racing at Belle Vue
and for the public to totally boycott the dog racing industry.
Greyhound Action’s UK Co-ordinator, Tony Peters, said: “Last Tuesday evening our office received
dozens of calls from people who’d been watching the greyhound racing on Sky Sports and were shocked
at seeing a dog fall very badly during the 8pm race at Belle Vue.
“We immediately contacted one of our investigators, who has discovered that the greyhound, a 2 year
old male, called Frisby Foreman, broke his shoulder as a result of the fall, was carried from the
track in agony and was subsequently ‘put down’ by a vet.
“Sadly, such horrific injuries to racing greyhounds are all too common and we are often contacted by
members of the public who have witnessed them.
“Thousands of injuries to racing greyhounds occur every year, many of them serious. The main reason
for this is that the shape of the tracks, with fast straights leading into tight bends, creates a
very dangerous environment for dogs to run in.
“Because track owners fear they will lose money through racing being called off, races are quite
often run in unsuitable conditions, which increase the risk of injuries to the dogs. This appears to
have been the case last Tuesday, where the racing was allowed to continue during torrential rain.
“The injury to Frisby Foreman was obviously serious, but we would question the decision to put him
down. Broken shoulders in greyhounds can be repaired and they can go on to live long and happy lives
“Obviously, such a dog would no longer be any good for racing, which is why we believe that Frisby
Foreman’s life was ended for commercial reasons, rather than out of genuine concern for his
“Sadly, even less serious injuries, which spectators may not be aware of, can still end up being
lethal, as greyhounds are often “put down”, if it’s considered to be not worth the money to get them
fit for racing again.
“Ex-racing greyhounds often suffer considerably in later life because of the unnatural stresses and
strains imposed on their bodies through racing on the tracks.
“Even more serious than the large number of injuries to racing dogs is the fact that many thousands
of greyhounds get put to death every year, simply because they are considered not good enough for
Our latest research indicates that over 15,000 greyhounds are “put down” annually after being judged
unsuitable to race on British tracks or when their racing “careers” come to an end, either through
age or injury.
“This means that each of Britain’s 29 major dog tracks, including Belle Vue is, on average,
responsible for the deaths of more than 500 greyhounds annually.
“According to an RSPCA statement ‘at least 20 greyhounds a day – either puppies which do not make
the track, or retired dogs aged three or four – simply disappear, presumed killed’.
“In recent years, national media exposés have highlighted the wholesale slaughter of ex-racing
greyhounds and several mass graves containing the bodies of shot greyhounds have been discovered in
various parts of the country.
“In 2006 the Sunday Times carried a story about large numbers of greyhounds, including many from
Belle Vue, being put to death for £30 a time at a so-called “Dogs Home” in Leigh.
“There are local greyhound rescue groups, who do excellent work in finding homes for some of the
dogs that ‘retire’ from racing at the stadium, but this only amounts to a minority of the greyhounds
disposed of because of the existence of the Belle Vue track.
“Greyhound racing also causes the death of many thousands of other dogs apart from greyhounds, as
places in homes and rescue kennels, which could go to other stray and ‘unwanted’ dogs, are taken up
by greyhounds got rid of by the racing industry, meaning that those other dogs are ‘put down’
because there is nowhere for them to go.
“The rules of the National Greyhound Racing Club, the body that controls dog racing at Belle Vue and
Britain’s other major tracks, encourage greyhounds to be treated as disposable commodities, by
allowing racing owners to get rid of dogs, including having them put to death, once they are no
longer of use for racing.
“Greyhound Action believes that the only real solution to this horrific state of affairs is for
commercial greyhound racing to be ended. Six states in the USA have banned greyhound racing in
recent years, so there is no reason why a ban shouldn’t be imposed in the UK.
“In the meantime it is important to educate the public to boycott greyhound racing. If enough people
refrained from attending greyhound racing and stopped betting on races, then the activity would die
out through lack of support.
“Our local supporters demonstrate and distribute leaflets every Saturday evening out side Belle Vue,
as part of their campaign to end dog racing at the stadium.
“This latest horrific incident will, without doubt, cause them to redouble their efforts to end
commercial greyhound racing in Manchester.”
For more information, contact Tony Peters on 01562 700 043 or 07703 558724.
See also the Greyhound Action website at www.greyhoundaction.org.uk
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