About 30 local supporters of Greyhound Action, many of them accompanied by rescued greyhounds, held a minute's silence and laid wreaths and flowers in memory of the dogs that had been put to death.
The event, which took place yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16th), was prompted by details, obtained by campaigners under the Freedom of Information Act, which revealed that in the period from September 2007 until September 2008, the university carried out research on the bodies of 45 greyhounds, after the dogs had been put to death at Belle Vue, following injury on the track or simply because their racing owners no longer wanted them.
Greyhound Action's UK Co-ordinator, Tony Peters, said: "Following a national newspaper report a few months ago that Liverpool University was being supplied with the bodies of young greyhounds by a Lincolnshire breeder, a request was made to the university to provide information in relation to
greyhounds that had been used for research.
"The university's reply revealed that Belle Vue Stadium was also a major supplier of greyhound
corpses and the revelations are shocking in several different ways.
"Firstly, they show just how dangerous greyhound racing is for the dogs. 38 of the 45 greyhounds
were "put down" following death or injury, often serious, at the track.
"Secondly, they reveal just how little the racing industry cares about the greyhounds it uses. Seven
of the dogs put to death had not been injured and even those that were seriously injured could have
lived comfortably for many more years, after receiving veterinary attention.
"Sadly, however, because the injured greyhounds were no longer of any use for racing, their lives
were unceremoniously extinguished.
"Thirdly, because Belle Vue is just one of 28 major greyhound stadiums in Britain, they point to the
likelihood that a total of well over 1,000 greyhounds are being put to death annually at the
"We receive information all the time about this appalling killing of greyhounds on the tracks and
the trend has certainly continued at Belle Vue since September.
"Last month, we were inundated with calls from concerned viewers who witnessed a serious injury to a dog called Frisby Foreman during a race televised live from the stadium by Sky Sports.
"He was subsequently "put down", as was a greyhound called Emerson Catkin, who broke one of her hocks in a race at Belle Vue on November 6th.
"Tragically, research we have carried out into the breeding and racing of greyhounds indicates that
even this terrible situation is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the slaughter of these dogs is
"Figures released by the industry lead us to the conclusion that about 15,000 young greyhounds,
sometimes less than a few months old, are "put down" each year after being adjudged unsuitable for racing on British tracks.
"This means that, all in all, the existence of a stadium like Belle Vue leads to the killing of well
over 500 greyhounds annually.
"Even though the majority of these greyhounds never even get to race, the tracks are still
responsible for their fate, as they have created the demand for the dogs to be bred in the first
"It is for this reason that we are calling for an end to the greyhound racing industry. Commercial
greyhound racing has been banned in nine US states in recent years and there is no reason why that shouldn't happen here, through the simple measure of making it illegal to place or accept bets on dog races.
"In the meantime, we are urging the public not to attend or bet on greyhound racing, so that this
death-industry fades away through lack of financial support.
"Several months ago we formed a branch in the Manchester area to campaign for an end to greyhound racing at Belle Vue and our local supporters now hold regular demonstrations and leafletting sessions outside the stadium to persuade punters not to go there again."