AN ANIMAL welfare charity has called for a Swindon greyhound track to close after a number of dogs were put down after picking up injuries at the site.
Greyhound Action, an international dog protection group, has launched the campaign after learning that four dogs were injured while racing at the Blunsdon track last month.
On July 7, two year old greyhound Rackethall Kenny, fell after he was involved in a pile up with three other dogs on the second bend. And, two days later, another two year old, Swift Abel, fell at the same bend and was carried from the track with a serious leg injury.
Then, on July 30, a two year old female, called Wots Er Name, also fell at the second bend and, the following day, six year old Day two fell after a collision with two other greyhounds at the first bend.
All four dogs were so seriously injured that the track vet decided that they should be put down.
The group’s UK co-ordinator Tony Peters, said: “We were informed of this appalling carnage by an official at the track, who has become increasingly concerned about the suffering and slaughter of dogs caused by the greyhound racing industry.
“He also told us that there were concerns about a recent deterioration of the racing surface at the track, which may have contributed to these tragic incidents.
“Thousands of injuries to greyhounds, many of them serious, occur every year in Britain. 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.
“In addition, hundreds of other greyhounds, bred because of the demand created by the Swindon track, are put to death as puppies or young dogs, before they even make it to the track, after being judged unsuitable for racing.”
A stadium spokesman said: “Any injury to one of our greyhounds is greatly regrettable and impacts on everyone at the stadium.
“We monitor constantly to see if there is anything we need to do to avoid repetitions.
“There were in-running collisions involved in these incidents and they are thankfully rare on our large, sweeping and wide-bended track.
“No expense is spared ensuring that we have the finest sand and fixtures on the track, plus the best track preparation, veterinary and racing teams in the business, simply because we regard the safety of our greyhounds as our highest priority”.