Tracks of their Tears


5 articles.

Wimbledon | Catford | Oxford | Crayford | Portsmouth | Hall Green | Belle Vue | Ellesmere port | Swindon | Kinsley | Perry Barr | Newcastle Stadium | Brighton and Hove | Sittingbourne | Shawfield | Sunderland | Henlow | Yarmouth | Nottingham | Swansea | Glastonbury (Abbey Moor) | Pelaw Grange | Milton Keynes | Ayr | Poole | Peterborough

"Greyhound racing hit by recession" BBC website

A recent local BBC TV report "Greyhound racing hit by recession" can be seen at

"Trading difficulties" (i.e. poor attendances) have forced the stadium's management to drastically
cut the amount of trainers permitted to run dogs there, meaning that, from June 1st, the number of
dogs racing at Peterborough has been reduced by 30% from 512 to 350.


According to an eye-witness report received by international greyhound protection group Greyhound Action, a greyhound trainer showed "no remorse" after one of her dogs was horrifically injured and later "put down" by a vet at Peterborough Stadium.

The appalling incident occurred during a race at the stadium on Saturday, July 13th, when the greyhound, three year old Fortune John, "got to the first bend, and just pulled up and stopped, and was screaming and was carried off the track with one of his back legs hanging down badly".

The eye-witness, a person involved with greyhound racing, who has become sickened by the injuries to dogs at Peterborough, went on to say that Fortune John's trainer, Wisbech-based Hazel Kemp, "had a dog in the next race and did not seem to show any signs of remorse, smiling and talking to other trainers waiting to go back out on to the track".

Local Greyhound Action supporters, who have been holding regular demonstrations outside the stadium, have renewed their call for an end to dog racing at Peterborough, which they describe as a "death-track".

The group's UK Co-ordinator, Tony Peters, said: "This latest tragic incident, very sadly, comes as no surprise to us.

"Such horrific injuries to greyhounds racing on the tracks are all too common and we are often contacted by members of the public or sympathetic stadium workers 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 dogs getting injured.

"The injury to Fortune John was obviously serious, but we would question the decision to put him down. Severe leg injuries to greyhounds can often be successfully treated and the dogs can go on to live long and happy lives afterwards.

"Obviously, such greyhounds would no longer be any good for racing, which is why we believe that Fortune John's life was ended for commercial reasons, rather than out of genuine concern for his well-being.

"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 racing.

Our latest research indicates that as many as 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 28 major dog tracks, including Peterborough is, on average, responsible for the deaths of about 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'.

"Members of the public can help put an end to this horrific situation by not attending dog tracks or betting on greyhound racing, so this appalling death-industry fades away through lack of financial support."

To support the campaign to end greyhound racing at Peterborough (and at Britain's other dog tracks) contact Greyhound Action at or on 01562 700 043.


The local Evening Telegraph has reported that Peterborough Stadium is to suspend racing on Tuesday
nights owing to financial difficulties, meaning that the dog track there will only be operating
three nights a week, instead of four.

Operations Director Richard Perkins said the stadium had seen a 30 per cent rise in its electricity
bill over the past year, while also seeing less money handed over at the turnstiles and counters on
race nights.

He said: "We just don't think there will be enough people around for a second mid-week night" and
added that, despite the stadium's 1p meal deal promotion, people were not spending enough to support
its running costs.

In a letter to staff and greyhound trainers, stadium bosses said: "The stadium's income has dropped
dramatically this year, and costs have risen disproportionately as the dreaded credit crunch and
general downturn in the economy has hit home."

For full story, see

Two dogs fatally injured on one day at Peterborough october 2008


Greyhound Action has recently received news of yet more deaths of dogs at Peterborough Stadium.

Glandore Queen and Hanoi Son were “put down” at the track on October 18th, after sustaining serious
injuries while racing there.

See for the full story.



A Sunday Times article on November 2nd, entitled "Knacker’s yard disposes of unwanted greyhounds for
£20" dealt yet another blow to the greyhound racing industry, by revealing that Holts knacker's yard
in Hertfordshire "that supplies meat to the greyhound racing industry also has a sideline in
slaughtering dogs that are no longer fast enough to race".

An undercover reporter contacted Holts after receiving a tip-off that the family-run business was
routinely slaughtering unwanted greyhounds from nearby tracks.

According to Matt Waller, son of the yard manager: “All the owners come to us . . . they are all
over the place – Peterborough, Southend. They all come from miles away........there’s not many
places round like us any more.”

For the complete article click here

RSPCA Press release 8 May 2008

Bans For Greyhound Suffering

Rebecca Hagger (20) and Rosemary Hagger (51) both received 10-year bans at Peterborough Magistrates Court on 28 April after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three greyhounds and failing to meet the welfare needs of another four greyhounds.

Rosemary Hagger was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and her daughter Rebecca was banned from keeping all animals for 10 years. Rebecca was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service and Rosemary was given a 12-month conditional discharge. The pair from Edgerley Drain Road, Peterborough, were each ordered to pay £250 in costs.

The RSPCA was contacted in September 2007. Inspectors found three greyhounds which were emaciated and had infected sores, contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act, 2006. The remaining four were underweight and had flea infestations and were living in dirty conditions with no food or water available, contrary to section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act, 2006.

A vet estimated that two of the dogs had been made to suffer unnecessarily for at least two months and one dog for at least one month.

In mitigation the defendants said that the dogs had belonged to Rosemary's husband (Rebecca's father) who had passed away.

The court heard that both defendants had worked in the greyhound racing industry and decided to impose a ban, despite Rebecca still having a job in the industry.

RSPCA inspector Kat Parfitt said: "Animals deserve much better than the conditions these dogs were kept in and should have access to veterinary treatment when they need it.

Three of the dogs from the case still need new homes. White and black Boris and Tyler and Wilson, who are both black with white chests, are lovely, friendly dogs who are happy to laze around with just short bursts of exercise. Anyone who feels they can give a greyhound a good retirement home should call the RSPCA Peterborough & District Branch on 01733 248116.

Rebecca Hagger – licensed kennel hand, trainer and owner

Rebecca (known as Becky to her friends) Hagger was formerly a kennel hand for her father Frederick John Hagger; a trainer and owner attached to Peterborough greyhound stadium (one of 30 stadiums that come under the regulation of the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC)).

In 2007 Rebecca obtained a temporary trainers licence and was running the dogs at Peterborough stadium herself. It is reported that Rebecca shared ownership of the greyhounds with her father and was the sole owner after his death.

Racing Manager of Peterborough stadium Martin Race refused to say whether Rebecca was still allowed at the track and Noel Thompson representing the NGRC said: “As far as I am concerned if she is a licence holder or not has got nothing to do with matters has it?”