Animal welfare campaigners have slammed the management of Owlerton Stadium for organising a fireworks display on the same evening as a greyhound race meeting.

The League Against Cruel Sports blasted the Sheffield Stadium organisers for the stress this will cause to greyhounds whose welfare should be put before ‘entertainment’.

Nick Weston, Head of Campaigns League Against Cruel Sports said:

“Anyone who lives with cats or dogs knows the trauma their beloved family pets suffer as a result of fireworks going off. These animals are petrified. For greyhound tracks to hold a fireworks display anywhere near the greyhounds they are responsible for shows a woeful lack of concern for the welfare of the greyhounds.

“I am proud to say I share my home with two beautiful ex-racing greyhounds. They are a source of such joy and happiness to me and my family, but when the 5th of November comes around we have to do all we can to make sure it impacts on them as little as possible. To deliberately place these sensitive and loving creatures in the vicinity of loud explosives to me is nothing more than animal cruelty.”

The fireworks display is being arranged to follow the races involving more than 60 greyhounds temporarily kennelled at the Stadium or leaving as the ‘entertainment’ unfolds. Others live at a residential kennel at the site.

As Bonfire Night draws close, many animal welfare charities and veterinary experts are issuing advice about how to deal with the anxiety caused by fireworks.

The League Against Cruel Sports has written a letter to the stadium management calling on the fireworks display to be cancelled.

Wider concerns about the greyhound industry are also emerging. According to the greyhound industry’s figures released in 2018, more than 1,000 racing greyhounds were killed or died last year. The figures also reveal that nearly 5,000 injuries were suffered by racing dogs last year, suggesting either one in every three of the greyhounds involved in racing across the UK are injured or that the dogs are suffering multiple injuries.

An ad van will be parked outside the stadium on Sunday to highlight the cruelty associated with greyhound racing.

Nick Weston, said:

“The League Against Cruel Sports believes that greyhound racing should be phased out. It is an industry built on profit, and it is ultimately the greyhounds that pay the price. Over 1,000 dogs were killed last year as a result of greyhound racing, and these firework displays are yet another example of the industry’s callous disregard for the dogs it exploits.

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Notes to Editors

  • For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]
  • The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).