FINALLY: Unethical Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium Can Be Shut Down

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At long last, Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium can now be shut down! Following a decision by the mayor, the unethical dog-racing track can now be turned into a football stadium and new affordable housing.

Greyhound CC0

After a massive campaign by animal-protection groups and members of the local community – including a petition from PETA with nearly 15,000 signatures – Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gave the go-ahead for Merton Council to approve a planning application submitted by AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes that will close Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium and transform it into an arena for Wimbledon football and new homes for local people.

Last year, compassionate people celebrated when plans were unanimously approved by the council to close down the track, but former Mayor of London Boris Johnson intervened and called in the planning application, meaning that cruel dog races have continued to be held at the track. Today, though, news broke that the new mayor has handed back powers to the council.

Greyhound racing is on its last leg, as more and more people learn that the industry uses dogs as mere moneymaking machines, bred for speed at the expense of their health, strength, and stamina.

Many greyhound puppies are killed in the name of “selective breeding” and never make it to the racetrack, and dogs who do qualify to become racers are typically caged and muzzled by their trainers and suffer from crate and muzzle sores as well as infestations of internal and external parasites. Once their racing days are over, many dogs are discarded. The ears of some are cut off to remove identifying tattoos, and the dogs are then abandoned or killed.

Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium’s closure comes after years of dwindling ticket sales and is good news for dogs.

Thank you to everyone who signed the petitions: your actions have helped prevent more dogs from suffering for “sport” and have relegated this archaic track to the history books.


  • peter horsman commented on August 23, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    that is so not true, greyhounds are well treated in retirement and homes found for them.
    if anyone tries to put down a greyhound without a good reason, eg bad injury, vets are not allowed to do it, and people are banned from the sport for life

    • Dan commented on August 23, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Peter, that is a myth. The greyhound industry does not make its numbers public, but in 2007 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare released a report stating that “4,728 dogs are unaccounted for each year and we can assume that the majority of these dogs are destroyed.” Please have a read:

      • Catherine Lee commented on August 28, 2016 at 9:32 pm

        Dogs that are not kept in good health & sanitary conditions are not fit to race., therefore the poor dogs you are referring to must have been injured, or just too slow to earn their keep.
        The racing industry leaves a lot to be desired but a dog in the condition described would not be allowed to race.
        Sadly many healthy dogs are destroyed, or even abandoned. Though some are lucky enough to make it into a rehoming centre. That’s where I got my beautiful dog. They make wonderful pets requiring only 20 minutes walking twice a day & somthing to prise it off the sofa.

      • Mevr/A commented on September 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        In de naam van GOD mijn Vader in de Hemel stop het wind honden rennen,Wij kregen deze dieren om er goed voor te zijn en ze lief te hebben.
        En geen rijkdom over de rug van deze dieren.Als U tijd is gekomen om deze AARDE te verlaten mag U verantwoording af leggen tegen onze Vader in de Hemel.En hij beslist wat er moet gebeuren,ik zou niet graag in U schoenen staan.

    • Sue Biddle commented on August 23, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      That’s all very well Peter but you’re naively assuming that everybody involved in this industry behaves according to the rules and that no-one is capable of behaving cruelly or unethically . Sadly where the profit motive is concerned then, all too often, concerns for animal welfare go to the bottom of the pile. PETA make it their business to verify the facts and I’m confident that none of the evidence they collect is exaggerated!

      • alan huddlestone commented on October 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

        there are people in the game who abuse there dogs and there others who treat them very well just like all walks of life where there are bad and stupid people you will see animal and human cruelty

    • Alessandra Ferrari commented on August 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Rubbish. You exploit them anyway. Shame on you!
      And let us hope that the money and the greed that is generated for thus heinous business will one day choke you all!

    • michele mathew commented on August 27, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Ive worked in the industry,,and those animals are treated like absolute shit,,,,,,the lucky few get to go to a good home after,,,but the other millions are battered to death or sold as dog meat to chinese,,,anyone who thinks any different is very naive

      • lorraine foley commented on August 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        Well said Mechele Mathew – they are treated like shit. Many are cruelly ‘bolted’ in the head too. I have seen the footage of the Canidrome greyhounds in China/Macau. Its very sad. People should be waking up to what really goes on. Thanks to people like us who care, we shed a bit of light on the real facts.

    • Evelyn Ball commented on August 28, 2016 at 12:51 am
      • julie criddle commented on August 31, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        I too have read some horrific stories about the way those poor dogs are treated and it is absolutely sickening, devastating, appalling and heartbreaking. Those people need to be punished severely and not allowed to own or train another dog for as long as they live!!!

    • Silwni commented on August 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Did you never read the report of the thousands of greyhounds butchered and buried in a field by people who no longer cared about them? There are many such cases, including greyhounds beaten because they did not want to run or simply because they lost. This betting money making ‘sport’ is sick.

    • Vivien Clements commented on August 30, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Absolutely not true PETA. The decision to close Wimbledon is nothing to do with animal welfare but is a planning decision by Merton Council under pressure from AFC Wimbledon for a new stadium which they have no chance of filling with people on match day. Your ‘facts’ are not verifiable and in fact untrue. It costs a fortune to breed a litter of greyhound pups and as you can’t tell,if they will be good racers until they are 12-15 months old, they will not be killed as young pups. A greyhound will not run well unless they are well looked after, fed well and cared for so why on earth would a trainer I’ll treat their gods. Unlicensed racing is a different matter as their tracks are not regulated. All regulated tracks have vets who inspect the fogs before they race and I have seen his with. Y own eyes. I have also visited licenced training establishments and seen the dogs walked over footpaths, play in paddocks with toys and seen the wagging tails of happy dogs with my own eyes. Those of you who believe what activist animal rights organisations day, please go and see what happens at licenced tracks and trainers and you will see the truth. If I receive any abusive threats for expressing my honestly held views then I will report the offenders to the authorities and the police.

      • Jan Brown commented on September 10, 2016 at 7:46 pm

        A picture tells a thousand stories , and I have seen enough pictures of cruelty to greyhounds to know who to believe, and you are not one of them! Obviously not an animal lover or you would not protect this vile business as you do… animals are not ours to use for entertainment , food or abuse in any way.

      • Laura Slade commented on October 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        Really – then how come 7 week old Luna was left to be killed at a vets by her trainer because she had a “funny gait”? In fact she was not PTS but rehomed and having a lovely life despite her cerabral palsy

    • Carolyn Moscato commented on August 31, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Stop this

    • Laura Slade commented on October 7, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      If that were true the EFRA committee report would not state that between 1000 & 3700 “retired” greyhounds were unaccounted for each year OR independent rescues would have no greyhounds because the RGT rehome them all.

  • Podge commented on August 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    At the last count, about half of the dogs bred for racing made it into “retirement homes” – if it were true that the hounds are so well cared for then GBGB would be publishing the stats and would have nothing to hide. And nobody really believes vets don’t put down healthy dogs – see Rule 18.

    • Kare commented on August 27, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Problem is then rescues that are already full have to vet and home greyhounds. Space is limited. So dogs dumped by worthless owners end up killed or the greyhounds are. Stop breeding, stop the deaths.

  • Caterina Servi Scarselli commented on August 23, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    NO allo sfruttamento – qualsiasi – degli esseri senzienti (che non possono difendersi!) sempre e comunque! NON ESISTE UN MODO BUONO PER FARE UNA COSA SBAGLIATA

  • nick commented on August 23, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    you are talking out of your arse , ive been involved in the sport since i was a babe in arms , its a way of life for thousands and ive homed every dog ive had retired , i with my wife and kids love the greyhounds so much and all kennal staff at the kennals love them , nothing to do with profit blah blah , ive had dogs that never won but still loved them with all my heart
    your petitions have had no effect on any closures , its the need for housing as the government has let in so many and tracks on built on sites suitable for housing , there is nothing against do gooders but you have nothing to be do gooders about with the world of greyhound of racing

    • Podge commented on August 27, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      I’ve no doubt that there are genuine greyhound lovers in the industry but because you care properly for your dogs it doesn’t mean that all other owners do. You only need to think of the many greyhound rehoming centres around the country to know that there are many, many dogs that don’t get the comfortable retirement that they deserve.

    • SUE GRIFFITHS commented on August 27, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Then you are the exception to the rule. Are you trying to convince us that all greyhounds are treated as you say? C’mon we weren’t born yesterday.

    • Lorraine Greyvenstein commented on August 27, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      How did you get them running on the track. What training methods did you use ? How many dogs did you home ?
      This is not a natural way of life for thousands of greyhounds athough it may be a way of life for you and thousands of human beings

    • Kare commented on August 27, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Australia is stopping it cuz you all train with live possums, kittens, bunnies etc tied to a moving bait machine. So yeah, petitions do work.

      • Vivien Clements commented on August 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Absolutely nothing to do with Aminal welfare in NSW. Baird wants the prime land the tracks are on and the ban was a stitch up from the time the Report was commissioned. His sites works for the to Chanel that filmed the live baiting at two trainers ((for 6 months and therefore increasing the suffering of those poor animals used as bait). They could not find any other trainers live baiting despite searching for months. Two trainers have been prosecuted for live baiting and they were the ones who testified that ‘20%’ of trainers were doing it in order to mitigate themselves. There has been no evidence of widespread live baiting , just assumptions. NSW is the only state to ban greyhound racing and the others have introduced significant measures to improve welfare standards ( including settling limits on breeding) rather than banning because they want destroy a whole industry for the sins of a few .

      • Bonnie Ramon commented on August 31, 2016 at 8:19 am

        Australia—Greyhound racing banned in NSW as of 2017 because of constant animal cruelty. Good riddance to a bad industry!

    • Rebekkah Hower commented on August 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Yay I’m so happy to hear about this!!!!! I do not believe anyone that claims they’re in this kind of business because they love the animals Soo much and they could care less about the profit, yeah right uuug ……. I signed many Petitions to Stop cruelty to Animals and I know They Do Work, so happy to find out that Governor Jerry Brown Did sign the petition to stop the use of bull hooks on elephants in my/the state of California in the USA ……

    • Laura Slade commented on October 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Bollocks – only last month did 5 dogs come into an independent rescue direct from a trainer – all with worms & fleas, all with untreated injuries and all not recognising a dog biscuit or toy

  • Carolyn commented on August 23, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks to everyone for making this happen

  • olimpia marina commented on August 23, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    No human has the right to torment and harm any animal.It is a criminal act to gain money by causing harm to an animal…..ENOUGH

  • Eileen Piercy commented on August 23, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    I think greyhound racing should be banned because the stories I have read shows it to be cruel and, when they have finished their usefulness they are abandoned or killed. Some people just want to make easy money and don’t care about the dogs suffering. BAN IT NOW.!!!!!!

    • Vivien Clements commented on August 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

      You believe this because of stories you have read. Why not go and visit greyhound trainers and see with your own eyes how well looked after and happy the dogs are. Talk to them about what happens to the dogs when they finish racing – I did and was pleasantly surprised !

      • Laura Slade commented on October 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm

        yes we know what happens between 1000 & 3700 are unaccounted for and you can euthanise a “retired” greyhound on economic grounds – as evidenced on the GBGB retiremen form

  • Tamara Bragg commented on August 27, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Thank you for helping the Greyhounds PETA!

  • Tamara Bragg commented on August 27, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Thank you un for helping the Greyhounds PETA!
    GOD BLESS the Greyhounds.

  • mirna commented on August 27, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Is there a petition I can sign if not please make one SO WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND GET THIS FRESH HELL SHUT THE HELL DOWN!!!!

  • derek prince commented on August 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    what about the stock car track the last one in London will be shut down

  • Karen commented on August 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Finally!! Slowly but surely moving forward into the 21st Century where we should STOP using animals for sport and profiting from them. We should be working on developing our own skills, not using theirs to make money. Like so many other things these days, this kind of sport is all about greed greed greed and nothing more.

  • Barbara Ciasco commented on August 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Shut this hellhole DOWN!!!! Treat these gentle
    Sweet creatures like the lovely pets they can be!
    Give the human scum jail time and what goes
    Around comes around!!!!!

  • Leslie Mercer commented on August 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    No animal should be in this circumstance. Ever. Not for any reason.

  • Carmel Gagne commented on August 27, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Extremely happy that the tracks are getting shut down. Thanks to all who made a difference. People need to sign these petitions so more of this heinous cruelty is exterminated for good.

  • John Minton commented on August 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Some of the greyhounds involved in the sport deserve a far better life. There are a lot of very good owners who look after their greyhounds and other animals, all through their lives, but by the same token there are a lot of unscrupulous owners who give all those involved with greyhounds a bad name. Apart from some of the greyhounds themselves being abused and killed, other animals, such as cats, rabbits, etc are abused and killed as well, in order to train greyhounds. Some places where lots of greyhounds are kept and trained have very few cats in the area, as they are killed either on purpose or by accident by greyhounds being unrestrained and chasing and killing them. The whole sport does definitely need to be cleaned up, as when you consider the amount of money made through betting, etc, if only a small percentage of that was set aside to care for greyhounds and other animals then there wouldn’t be as much cruelty and neglect around the sport overall.

  • Anne douglas commented on August 27, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Stop this awful practice

  • Donata maluzenska commented on August 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Wy people watch this kind of horror !

  • James Goldberg commented on August 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Please stop now. Your Karma can still be saved.

    Dr James Goldberg

  • James Goldberg commented on August 27, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Stop now.

    Dr James Goldberg

  • DANIELLE FAYAUD commented on August 27, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Les lévriers , et les autres races , souffrent dans tous les pays..les hommes sont barbares , ces dirigeants sont OPAQUES…trop de chiens sont laissés a mourir , battus traumatisés..affamés puis martyrisés et jeté dans la rue en espérant qu’ils crèvent …( pas qu’ils meurent…) ce serait trop respectueux…( voir aussi en Espagne ) il faut défendre ces pauvres animaux si vie n’est pas que se faire de l’argent , c’est avoir le respect de toute vie.

  • Rachel Davies commented on August 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    If you can, read the govt report recently released in NSW AUstralia, where greyhound racing is TOTALLY BANNED in this state from July 2017. Up to 68,000 “non-performing” dogs put down! But the cruelty that has been exposed in this Report (known for decades by trainers and others involved) beggars belief. Govt now being urged to ban ALL GREYHOUND RACING in Australia. it now belongs only in the annals of history and something we should all look back on in shame. Another example of money over morals.

    • Vivien Clements commented on August 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Not true . The figures quoted are the total number of greyhounds whelped vs the number of greyhounds not racing over a 12 year period, and the assumption was made that if they are not racing they must be dead. A mathematics professor had stated that the figures used in the report mathematically are a nonsense when you look at the actual greyhounds registered ( they have to be registered before,they are three months old) and the numbers of greyhounds racing , let alone those retired, those who,have died of natural causes etc. If the figures quoted were correct there couldn’t be the number of greyhounds racing that there are. Please don’t believe everything you read – simply not true.

  • David G Smith commented on August 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    I was once involved in the racing of greyhounds, unfortunately it was badly run, controlled by racing managers for the purpose of Bookmakers. BAGS meetings are special events to ensure Bookmakers can make money, during the mornings and afternoons,when there is little else happening.
    Greyhound racing is on its knees and getting lower, due to inactivity by GBGB, having taken over from NGRC some years ago. Indeed there are good reforming centres, who have to self fund to exist. Hence collections outside of supermarkets and town centres. Bookmakers benefits is what are lovely Greyhounds are used for. No longer a sport, just a way to make extras for the money grabbing Bookmakers.
    Just look at the large number of tracks that have closed under GBGB, it speaks volumes for the extremely poor stewardship of this once great sport!!!!

    • Lorraine Greyvenstein commented on August 28, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Rather the industry be brought to it’s knees than the beautiful greyhounds.

  • Roxie Huffman commented on August 28, 2016 at 3:31 am

    You all should be ashamed of yourselves. I truly don’t know how you can sleep at night. Stop Abusing these beautiful animals!! All Zoo’s, Circuses and parks that have Any animals of any kind should be shut down permanently!!!! Find F’n something else to do with your life instead of abusing animals. Get a life!!

  • James Goldberg commented on August 28, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Stop this cruelty now!

    Dr James Goldberg

  • John Riggins commented on August 28, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Had some good nights at Southend and Walthamstow dog tracks, but then the veil was removed from my eyes, and I was only early twenties.
    Now I’m 65 and rabid anti animal cruelty to the point of an animals life means more to me than many of the alleged humans that walk this planet.
    Wimbledon will make a good home for the “Real Don’s”!

  • Gerald Moser commented on August 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I am confused about PETA.
    Why does PETA KILL so many animals, when I thought they were supposed to be saving them

    I dont get it. If PETA took control of the greyhounds at Wimbledon would they kill them all.
    Statistics say 90% would be killed.
    I dont understand

  • GEORGE commented on August 28, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I have been involved in greyhound racing all my life my father was a football player and kept greyhound’s after they retired he rehomed them but sadly all that has changed they are good owners how look after their dogs but the biggest majority do not care I’ve seen them run injured dogs at flapping tracks kick dogs in car park if they don’t win sadly I’ve stopped going to tracks spend my time looking after my retired dog, RETIRED GRAYHOUNDS MAKE ONE OF THE BEST PETS YOU COULD WISH FOR.

  • Silwni commented on August 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    While I am glad about this, I think it a shame that the ground will now be used just for a football ground – we have too many of those – and housing. Why not turn it into something for everybody like a wildlife park? We can all do with more greenery and healthy air. Now Wimbledon is no longer in Surrey but a part of London surely this would be a vital resource for all in this huge grotty city.

  • Susan May commented on August 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I have campaigned against the Belle Vue stadium for several years now and I know that the numbers who go in are declining, thank goodness. Until I became involved in the campaign I had no idea what went on behind the scenes and simply assumed that the dogs were people’s pets who just liked to race. I had not realised there were syndicates who put them with trainers and I certainly did not know about the thousands that are killed simply because they did not make the grade.
    Having stood outside the stadium and taken the abuse from the punters I can honestly say that it is totally wrong that these beautiful creatures are raced for the sake of a bunch of drunken/drugged up ……….. The dogs are worth so much more than this and the whole industry is a complete sham. I hope that we will see the closure of Belle Vue soon and hopefully this could be made in to affordable housing which is so desperately needed.

  • Gerald Moser commented on August 28, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I am still confused.
    I saw on you tube a news clip with Bruce Wieland a PETA spokesman confirming that 90% of dogs ‘rescued’ by PETA in America are put to sleep.
    This cant be true can it?

  • Catherine Lee commented on August 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    It is not enough to close the tracks, it is essential to find safe homes for all the unwanted greyhounds that will be surplus to requirements for the gambling establishment.
    I am thrilled that the petition that everyone signed has been effective in closing Wimbledon but what is vital now is the safety and wellbeing of these poor dogs. Show your commitment to these unwanted dogs, give them a loving home for the first time in their lives. Let them experience a life where they are not kept because they are earning money for their owner or bookmakers. Demonstrate that you truely care about these beautiful dogs & adopt one now when they are in dire need.

  • Lisa commented on August 31, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Save The dogs

  • Frances Oelbaum commented on August 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    What a success! Now, let’s find good homes for all these beautiful dogs.

  • Lisa Frizzell commented on August 31, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Stop the abuse of these animals shut done the Stadium

  • Rebecca commented on September 11, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Unfortunately exactly where the earnings motive is worried then, all also usually, considerations for animal welfare visit the bottom of the pile. PETA ensure it is their business enterprise to verify the points and I’m confident that none of the evidence they accumulate is exaggerated!

  • cynthia stewart commented on September 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Thank God and all you who helped! Does my heart good!

  • Suzanne Cooper commented on September 21, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Have never agreed with this . I am front england, and always hated this, and the boxing day fox hunts. Animals are not our property. They are meant to be our companions. Medical research has proven the benifit to our overall health when we have animals as part of our family.

  • Chua commented on October 7, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Shut Them Down !!!!

  • Muriel Servaege commented on October 7, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you for the good news. i hate greyhounds races, anyway.

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