The London March, 18 November 2006.

I was delighted that the main theme of the march shifted towards the outright banning of commercial Greyhound racing, which we would never ever refer to as a "sport". Nothing sporting about the slaughter of thousands of Greyhounds every year, is there?

As I said in my speech at the rally, the surest hope we have of reducing and eventually putting an end to the Greyhound racing industry is by persuading the public to boycott Greyhound racing, i.e. not to attend or bet on Greyhound races.

The best way to persuade the public to do this is by making it clear to them that commercial Greyhound racing is totally unacceptable and needs to be done away with altogether. If people think that the racing industry can somehow be reformed or regulated so as to somehow make it acceptable, they will be less enthusiastic to boycott it.

There is, indeed, a great deal of money in the industry, but it is a dying industry nonetheless, with dozens of tracks having closed in recent years, many others on the verge of going under and attendances down, yet again, according to last year's figures and looking certain to fall considerably this year. All this because the public is boycotting the industry, a process which we all need to do our utmost to encourage.

Commercial Greyhound racing may well go on underground to a certain extent, if it were banned, but there is no way that a few blokes putting bets on Greyhounds running in a field here or there could create the demand for many thousands of dogs to be bred for slaughter every year, which is what the existing Greyhound stadiums are doing. Such practices as cock-fighting and dog-fighting still go on underground to some extent. Does this mean that they should never have been outlawed?

Being radical isn't being woolly-minded. The definition of a radical is someone who goes to the root of a problem (radical comes from the Latin word radix, meaning root), which in the case of the mass slaughter and suffering of Greyhounds, is the dog racing industry. As a radical, I want to solve the problem, not allow it to continue by promoting half-measures.

Finally I would like to congratulate the organisers of the March for the Greyhounds for the hard work and diligence they obviously put into making it such a well-organised event. I did have some serious misgivings about the March, but these soon evaporated once things got going. More of the same in other parts of the country would be an excellent idea and likely to attract more publicity, at least on a local and regional level, than an event in London, where it's notoriously difficult to get media coverage.

Tony Peters, Greyhound Action - 28 Nov 2006.
www.greyhoundaction.org.uk

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